¡Ven, Holy Spirit, ven! God, God, God!

Happy Solemnity of Pentecost!

¡Ven, Holy Spirit, ven! (Come, Holy Spirit, come!)

God, God, God!

With these phrases, repeated several times throughout his Spirit-filled homily, Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, Archbishop of San Antonio, called some 1,300 Catholics from various lay ecclesial movements, new communities, orders, apostolates, and organizations to be filled anew with the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, who renews the face of the earth and awakens within us a yearning for unity – which is a yearning for the One in Three and Indivisible Unity, the Triune God.

Unity, oneness is greatly desired by God and actually resembles the life of the Triune God. Indeed, as the Psalmist says: “How good it is, how pleasant, when the people dwell as one!” (Psalm 133)

We were one last night! One Body! For as St. Paul says: “There are different gifts but the same Spirit; there are different ministries but the same Lord; there are different works but the same God who accomplishes all of them in everyone.” (1 Cor 12: 4-6)

The Church in San Antonio gathered to celebrate our unity in diversity – the various charisms and spiritualities which the Holy Spirit has poured out upon the Body of Christ for the good of all. We agree with Pope Benedict XVI when he says that the Holy Spirit’s constant movement toward unity is a key tool for determining whether a person or action is truly Christian, and when he says that “If a person or a community is closed off in its own way of thinking or acting, it is a sign that it has moved away from the Holy Spirit.”  

In communion with the Universal Church, the Church in San Antonio gathered with its Shepherds to ask for “more Holy Spirit!” We followed the Church’s recommendation to hold “a prolonged celebration of Mass in the form of a Vigil, whose character is not baptismal as in the Easter Vigil, but one of urgent prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit.” We heeded the Church’s invitation, “after the example of Mary, together with the Apostles and disciples, to meditate upon God’s wonderful deeds, and to pray that the work of the Spirit may be made more manifest in the world.”

We prayed together: “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle within them the fire of Thy love. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created, and Thou shall renew the face of the earth.” Hundreds of Catholics from across the Archdiocese, representing various lay ecclesial movements, new communities, orders, and organizations with various spiritualities, charisms, and apostolates prayed united as one: “Come, Holy Spirit!”

Following the Mass and the Procession of Banners we gathered in the parish gym to enjoy fellowship with one another and light refreshments, to visit the display tables of the various groups present, and to meet and greet Archbishop Gustavo and Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantú.

Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller used Fr. Henri Nouwen’s image of a wagon wheel as a sign of the unity desired by and characteristic of the Triune God: “No one of its spokes is more important than the others, but together they make a circle full, and reveal the hub at the core of its strength.” He called all present to realize that “Like spokes of a wheel, equally important and working in unity, we work together for the mission of the Holy Spirit. ¡Ven, Holy Spirit, ven! ¡Ven, Holy Spirit, ven! ¡Ven, Holy Spirit, ven!”

He quoted Nouwen again: “These wagon wheels help me to understand the importance of a life lived from the center… a life lived from the center. When I stay at the hub, I am in touch with all the spokes and know love.” The Archbishop added that the wheel reminds us that in life we are all connected, but above all with God, and that it is God who brings about unity: God, God, God! God who is love and brings about love among us, His children. “If we are truly living at the center who is God we will be closely connected to the many spokes of the wheel, and that is, each other.”

Reflecting on the first of the six readings of the Vigil Mass, the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11, he said: “We are confronted with a people that was not focused on the hub who is God; they were not centered on God. In fact, they wanted to compete with God! We hear them say, ‘Come, let us…make a name for ourselves.’ In this, we see the destructive nature of not living like the spokes of a wheel: closely connected to the hub. We cannot be like these men and women who wanted to make a name for themselves: we must be a people always living at the hub, close to God, wanting to proclaim God’s name, not our own: God, God, God!  We must always have on our lips the words of this evening’s Responsorial Psalm: ‘Bless the Lord, my soul! O Lord, my God, You are great indeed!’ No busquemos hacer carrera para nosotros mismos: poder, riqueza, prestigio – no encuentran su lugar en la rueda de la carreta de la vida y del mundo: ¡Dios, Dios, Dios! (Let us not seek to make a career for our own sakes: power, possessions, prestige – these have no place in the wheel of life and of the world: God, God, God!)

Archbishop Gustavo’s call for that unity of God which we must reflect continued. “God has created us to live in unity with Him and with one another. Unity is the work of the Holy Spirit in the world. In today’s Psalm we also hear: ‘When You send forth your Spirit… You renew the face of the earth!’ We were created in the image and likeness of the Trinity. We are physically and spiritually made for unity. This is very profound… We are physically and spiritually made for unity, to be like spokes in a wheel united with one another and close to the hub who is God – God, God, God! Just as the Trinity lives the reality of unity, so too are we called to live it. This unity is part of our spiritual DNA. The need for unity reflects our source. We groan for this unity. In the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans we hear that all creation is groaning in labor pains… ¡Ven, Holy Spirit, ven! ¡Ven, Holy Spirit, ven! ¡Ven, Holy Spirit, ven! That is our groaning, our longing. We are groaning for unity and authentic intimacy. We know from experience that we spiritually groan for unity and love… for our parents love… siblings and friends… a close friend with whom we can share hopes and dreams, and we see this yearning expressed in marital love, in marriage… Estamos hechos para el amor y el amor que nos hace uno. (We are made for love and for the love that makes us one.)”

Reflecting on the purpose of the various spiritualities represented at the Pentecost Vigil Mass and Celebration, Archbishop continued: “We can see this yearning for unity and love in our decision to join the many different groups that are represented this evening. You decided to enrich the graces of your Baptism and become a member of a smaller community in order that you might better live out your call to unity with the larger Church and with our Triune God. Yes, smaller groups in our communities, in our parishes, in our local churches… but the model is the Trinity – the unity of the Three Divine Persons who are Selfless. He wants our lives to be Trinitarian and reflect the God who made us. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we are told that for all eternity the life of the Trinity  is caught up in the beatitude of the Other. Creation is a manifestation of the internal relationship of the Trinity, and at the same time an invitation to be caught up in the same goal: the glorious reality that seeks the good of the other. In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us that we are to spiritually groan, that is to say, thirst. ‘Let anyone who thirsts come to Me and drink… rivers of living waters will flow from within him who believes in me.’ We must understand, brothers and sisters, that all groaning and thirsting is, at its core, spiritual yearning for the embrace of the Trinity and spiritual unity with each other. Unity with God, God, God, unity with one another.”

“I wish to personally thank you  for all the ways in which you reflect the life and the unity of the Trinity; reach out to each other; support each other’s programs and goals; share parish halls, churches, classrooms, and archdiocesan facilities. When each group is patient and supportive of other groups, the reality of the Trinity is made manifest. God, God, God!  The Holy Spirit dwelling within you calls you to be like all the historic wagon wheels that challenge our lives to live in unity. We are called to keep in mind what can happen when many spokes of a wheel are united to the hub and each other. Thank you for being connected to God! Thank you for being connected with one another! Your connectedness will allow this local Church to do great things in honor of God’s name. And, unlike the people of Babel, let us make a name for God and not for ourselves!

God, God, God!

¡Ven, Holy Spirit, ven! ¡Ven, Holy Spirit, ven! ¡Ven, Holy Spirit, ven!

The Mass will air on CTSA (Catholic Television of San Antonio-Channel 15, Time Warner Cable) today, Sunday, from 3:00-5:00 pm, and again tomorrow, Monday, from 8:00-10:00 pm, giving us all an opportunity to prayerfully ponder Archbishop Gustavo’s homily and see how well we are doing as spokes of a wagon wheel, connected at all times with the hub (the Triune God) and the rest of the spokes (one another as individuals and communities) – all for the glory of God and the good of His People.

May you enjoy this Spirit-filled Solemnity of Pentecost, as together we pray:

Pentecost Sequence


Come, Holy Spirit, come!

And from your celestial home

Shed a ray of light divine!

Come, Father of the poor!

Come, source of all our store!

Come, within our bosoms shine.

You, of comforters the best;

You, the soul’s most welcome guest;

Sweet refreshment here below;

In our labor, rest most sweet;

Grateful coolness in the heat;

Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light divine,

Shine within these hearts of yours,

And our inmost being fill!

Where you are not, we have naught,

Nothing good in deed or thought,

Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;

On our dryness pour your dew;

Wash the stains of guilt away;

Bend the stubborn heart and will;

Melt the frozen, warm the chill;

Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful, who adore

And confess you, evermore

In your sevenfold gift descend;

Give them virtue’s sure reward;

Give them your salvation, Lord;

Give them joys that never end.

Amen. Alleluia.

2 Responses to “¡Ven, Holy Spirit, ven! God, God, God!”
  1. Richard Rios says:

    It was truly a Blessing to be in attendance last night. Archbishop Gustavo is filled with the Holy Spirit. There is a “real” joy in all he does. This Shepherd loves his flock. May God continue to grant Archbishop Gustavo all the Divine Graces he needs for his service to God, Church, and all peoples he encounters.

  2. We had a wonderful evening at the Pentecost Eve mass. Being a representative for Marriage Encounter and having a solid reminder of how we are a spoke in the entire wheel of the Spirit’s movements was what we needed. We now can offer a much more loving and considerate relationship to evangelization in all we do. God Bless you all for your work throughout the archdiocese!

    Robert and Yvonne & Worldwide Marriage Encounter’s community.

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