We Need Never Be Lonely!
Many years ago at my confirmation, I remember the bishop’s preaching about what was going to happen that evening. He began: "Do you see that flame flickering in the sanctuary?"
Everyone turned to look at the red candle burning brightly near the tabernacle. He continued: “It’s light reminds us that Jesus is present in this Church." He added: “Whenever we come into this church day or night, we will see that candle burning. It never burns out, telling everyone Jesus is here!”
Then he faced all of us with the crozier in his hand and continued, “In a few minutes, during this confirmation ceremony the Holy Spirit will light a flame in your heart. It is your reminder that Jesus is always present there, too!”
The Bishop, pausing a few seconds, said: “And it tells you that Jesus sees you, knows where you are, and loves you. The ever-flickering flame tells us Jesus is near and because He is, we need never be lonely or alone." He added: “This is the Holy Spirit’s special task to keep us aware that the warmth of Jesus’ love safeguards and protects.”
What a powerful image of the Holy Spirit, “keeping alive” the promise that Jesus is present as we travel through each day. Like a special friend, Jesus stays close when days are bright and sunny and even closer when our nights are long and dark.
Mother Teresa often said that loneliness is the great hunger of the western world. However, at our confirmation the Holy Spirit brings the perfect remedy to satisfy that hunger. Come Holy Spirit, renew the face of the earth, renew me!
With Jesus in our hearts melting away loneliness, we have another reason to appreciate the feast of Pentecost.
St. Francis de Sales adds: "Whether the Holy Spirit strengthens us by actions that He impresses in our hearts or supports us by infused charity; whether He saves us by carrying us forward or strengthening our hearts with His invigorating love, it is always in Him and by Him that we live, love, and work."
De Sales too is saying “we never need be lonely!"
The Spirit will come and show the people of this world the truth about sin and God’s justice and the judgment... The Spirit shows what is true and will come and guide you into the full truth. John 15:8, 13