A FUNNY THING ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT

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A Reflection on Pentecost

A FUNNY THING ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT

By Fr. Frederick Edlefsen

 

A new monkey species was discovered in Myanmar.  It’s called the “snub-nosed monkey” because it has nostrils without a nose.  During rainy seasons, locals say these monkeys sit with heads between legs, sneezing and snorting, to keep the water out.  

I’m not sure where I am going with this.  But there’s no telling what the Holy Spirit – “the Lord and giver of life” – will come up with next.  I am not just talking about monkeys, but I am not excluding them either.  Providence is a bag of tricks. If the Creator is always creating new things in nature, the Holy Spirit is always creating new graces in supernature.  The Book of Revelation says the Spirit’s creative fruits are “gems” (Revelation 21:9-21).  It doesn’t say anything about monkeys.  Revelation suggests beauty rather than funny business, though both are apt metaphors for the Holy Spirit’s creativity.  The works of the Holy Spirit provoke contemplation and wonder – and laughter.  “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him” (Corinthians 2:9).

Open your mind.  Reality equals Trinity plus everything Trinity creates, sanctifies, redeems, and makes new.  Everything new and fresh from God and man – like a baby conceived, born, and baptized – is a unique and unrepeatable monkey and sack of gems, destined to adorn the Great City (Revelation 2:17).  Every child is a new monkey, full of mystery and wonder.  

There is, however, one thing unchangeable:  the Moral Law.  God’s creativity is limitless. But moral limits will always be.  Even intelligent life in outer space or a new species would agree.  For example: “Thou shalt not steal.” “Thou shalt not kill.”  Morality is immutable. Steal a fruit or a baby from a snub-nosed monkey and see what happens.  Some boundaries must never be crossed.

Pentecost never ends.  Moral truth is immutable.  Creative beauty knows no bounds.  That’s not monkey business.

 

 

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