Reflections by Maire Close
The Lord is always faithful! He pours out upon us continuously His Spirit and gives us the joy and freedom to be one in him. His presence is always unique; always new; always creative; always in the manner in which each one needs. This is why we say "Our God is great all the time!". When, however, we mark special occasions and make time to come into his presence during special events, he manifests himself even more particularly and we confirm our proclamation with "And all the time our God is great!"
It was no different this Pentecost when we, Koinonia John the Baptist, celebrated our annual congress in St Michael's Church, Los Angeles. It would be right to say that we had gathered with the millions of angels for the festival of praise (Heb 12). And when we were there our faithful Lord poured out his life-giving Spirit bringing us new joy and freedom, making us more completely one in him; new creativity allowing us to express our praise and thanks to him for His greatness through visual decor that reflected the fire of His love and stirred us once again to proclaim that "He is good and worthy of all praise".
The experience of being one body in Christ with each having his or her rightful place is what clearly makes Koinonia what she is: a community of friends who come together in unity from all over the world working for the dissemination of the message of salvation; living and sharing the gifts of the Spirit for the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The most beautiful reflection of this diverse community of friends is seen when someone chooses to give their life to the Lord in virginity for the Kingdom of Heaven within the body of Koinonia John the Baptist. This Pentecost we had Katka, from Slovakia, take her first vows for 3 years and Monica, of Mexican-American heritage, renew her vows for another 3 years.
Both of these sisters not only reflect the richness of the international flavor which the Spirit has given Koinonia, but also they reflect the experience of growth as the vision for a future full of hope is being realized before our very eyes.
The Spirit does not disappoint! We saw many healed from various sicknesses; we witnessed new zeal in the hearts of our members for the new evangelization and we experienced the true joy that comes through unity in the Spirit giving us a new impetus for sharing the great things the Lord has done for us, "holy is His name".
After the first Pentecost experience of the apostles they left the upper room filled with new courage and a new capacity to proclaim Jesus as the Lord of all the nations. The Spirit of Pentecost is a Spirit of strength and I know that all those who participated in this Pentecost experience in St Michael's have been given a new strength and many are now exercising their gifts (some for the first time) through the Holy Spirit with new courage and proclaiming with new ardor the mighty works of God.
"I saw the Lord before me always, for with him at my right hand nothing can shake me. So my heart was glad And my tongue cried out with joy". (Acts 2:25)
Let us continue with confidence in our faithful God to shout for joy at the great things he has done "Holy is his name".