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On Friday a week ago, Facebook went public;
they call it an Initial Public Offering (IPO).
In doing so, the company allowed all individuals investors
to have an opportunity to invest in the company.
If one believes in the company's mission and its ideas
as well as the operational strategy to make money
then one might invest in the company
if they have the money to do so.
Often early investors have an opportunity to cash out
and make a reality of their investment from earlier years.
The stock rises when the demand for the stock is higher
than those who are selling;
the supply and demand balance.
In the case of Facebook, the demand was less than the desire to off-load
and as a result the stock price went down.
It will depend on performance now if the stock will rise again.
In going public Facebook gave individuals,
who had never had an opportunity to invest in the company,
the chance to invest for themselves
instead of having only the elite few who got in early.
Going public literally meant it was now open to all to invest in.
Today we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost.
We traditionally recognize this as the beginning of the church universal
and for us locally, we celebrate the beginning of our own parish here.
In one sense, it is the church "going public"
like the initial public offering of company.
The Spirit was being offered to all individual investors.
Everyone is given the opportunity to invest.
Whether we invest in this church or not is up to us.
There is no price in this case.
We do not have to take our money and invest in the church
but we do need to allow and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
If we allow the Holy Spirit into our lives
then we are fully vested in this that we call the "church."
If we do so then we believe in the mission of who we are.
As I said last week, the mission comes first
and the church is formed around it.
The mission is to proclaim the gospel everywhere.
For us to be investors in our church,
we have to allow the Holy Spirit to work in our own lives.
For us to bear fruit as the letter to the Galatians said today
we have to be willing to allow that Spirit to bear fruit,
we have to allow the Holy Spirit into our lives to begin with.
As members of the Body of Christ in Baptism,
we are all a bit like dry flour in a bowl.
For us to become bread, St. Irenaeus, says that
we have to allow the water of the Holy Spirit
to sprinkle into the flour so that we can be made into dough
that in turn will become one loaf in the one Baptism in the one Church.
We still have to allow ourselves to be drenched
by the gift of the Holy Spirit;
otherwise we will never bear fruit in the Holy Spirit.
I am not quite sure what it is about us Catholics
but I think we are afraid of the Holy Spirit.
Often we are afraid that we will become Pentecostals
singing and dancing people or something like.
Or we might become like the evangelicals singing, "Oh praise the Lord!" Yes it is my experience we Catholics are afraid of the Holy Spirit.
We fear if I invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts,
we might end up like them; whoever them are!
But in fact that is what we are called to do.
We are called to allow that Holy Spirit to really come into our lives,
to really transform our lives and then to bear much fruit.
It is like a tree in a parched land,
it cannot bear fruit until the water bears down on soil
giving nourishment to the land and the tree.
Then the tree can bear much fruit.
We too must allow the rain of the Holy Spirit,
the water of the Holy Spirit to drench our lives
and then we will bear fruit.
What will that fruit look like?
Today's letter to the Galatians tells us that first and foremost it will be love. Then "Joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."
These are the fruits of the spirit that we are called to live.
They won't just happen.
We have to invite the Holy Spirit into our life and then our life bears fruit.
I have said this before but the place from which we start this is in prayer.
We have to really allow that Spirit to come into our life
and we have to sit with the Lord and
allow that Spirit to come in and then we can bear fruit.
It is great we come to the table here on Sunday.
It is important that we be here.
But we must also be transformed by what we celebrate here.
We must be transformed to become people of love.
We must become people of joy;
people of peace, people of patience; people of kindness in our homes.
The only way we can do this is if we allow the Holy Spirit into our lives.
Now some of us struggle with that.
You may say, "Well, I'm not sure;
I don't really think I need the Holy Spirit."
I cannot tell you that you need it;
all I can tell you is out of my own experience,
having allowed the Holy Spirit into my life,
I have become vastly different because of it.
When I renew myself in the Spirit every single day through prayer,
I become different, I become a better person.
I do not know if that is going to make a difference to convince you
but I am hoping that you will take the chance
and allow the Holy Spirit into your life.
I promise you that you will be better because of it.
You will become more full of joy;
more full of love and patience;
we will be come gentler and kinder.
Now maybe not all of them at once
although I wish it would happen like that,
we have to work and cooperate with it.
We have to work and cooperate with the gift of the Holy Spirit
but the first thing we must do is to invest in the church;
invest in this public offering of the Holy Spirit
so we must allow that Spirit in and allow it to work in our life.
So today as we leave here, and as we receive
the gift of Christ in the bread and wine made into the Body and Blood
that we now allow the Holy Spirit to truly animate our lives
and that we accept this free public offering of the Spirit once again
so that we can bear much fruit in Christ's name.