What will each of us leave behind when we come to the end of this life? Sometimes people regret not having more money or possessions to leave to their heirs. Sometimes families fall out over who gets what when a loved one dies. Jesus’ parting gift to his disciples is very simple. No cash, no property, no family heirlooms or insurance policies, but something more valuable than any of those things: a peace that the world cannot give. This gift of peace means their hearts will never need to be troubled or afraid. They will only receive it when he returns to the Father and sends the Holy Spirit, who will teach them the truth and remind them of everything Jesus has said.
The same gift of peace is poured out on each of us when we are baptised, when we are confirmed and when we celebrate the Eucharist together. More than 60 of our parishioners will receive this gift through the sacraments of Confirmation and Communion on May 14th. Their families, with the help of our team of catechists, have been preparing, for months now, for this outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Praying for them and reflecting on our own experience of these sacraments can open our hearts to the Spirit that is constantly offered to us: a motivating power and energising force that can push away apathy and fear, a gentle calm in the midst of anxiety and stress, a consoling presence when we are lonely or afraid.
Jesus promises that we will receive the Spirit and that he and the Father will come to us and make their home with us: that is the most precious gift we can hand on to others.