19 May 2024 Pentecost

Many years ago I heard a story on the radio, which I have never forgotton. It was about an auctioneer,  and he was selling the contents of a house.  He had nearly finished, he had sold everything  except an old violin. It wasn’t worth very much.  He presented it to the people and asked for offers for the violin. The people were not very enthusiastic; one offered €10, another offered €20 and the auctioneer was going to sell it,  when something happened. A person came from the room, he asked for the violin and the bow  and he began to play.  For a few moments the room was filled with a beautiful melody. The man left the bow and the violin and went back to his place. Now everything had changed, everyone wanted the violin. They were prepared to offer any price. The question we all ask is: what happened?  what was the difference between the violin at the beginning and the violin now?  The violin was the same; the answer is: the difference was in the  touch of a master’s hand.  Sometimes in our lives we can feel like the old violin,  we are tired, we are confused, we are fearful of the future especially during these challenging times, we are out of place. We are like the apostles in the readings  today that it was fear that initially united them and Mary in the upper room as they waited the arrival of the Holy Spirit. Maybe there is already the potential for strength in the fact that they were at least together.  As there was a master in the lives of the apotles, there is a master also in our lives:  The Holy Spirit.  If we open our hearts to him, if we let this artist take us by the hand,  he will give us the grace to do our best;  and help us to rediscover talents that may have been hidden. The Spirit is that life giving force that animates our world, inspiring and energising us. The word Jesus often uses to describe the Holy Spirit as ‘Advocate’, meaning helper or comforter, indicating the diciples will not be left to struggle alone. The Holy Spirit is still at work in our church today. Just as the Holy Spirit helps us, he encourages us  to help others. The more we try to forget ourselves and help others, the Holy Spirt will accompany us and empower us. We are called to enable, to encourage, to guide,  to be helpful,  to make a difference, to be a posivite  influence in the lives of other people,  in our families, with our friends, in our community and indeed with everyone we meet  on our way. We can all be a little ‘touch of the masters hand’  in the lives of others and make a difference. This Sunday we celebrate the feast of Pentecost,  the coming of the Holy Spirit on the disciples,  but he is also coming to you and coming to me. The Easter church was a very fearful church, but after the coming of the Holy Spirit they were energised and went out into the streets to proclaim the Good News. In our lives the Holy Spirit will bring us the gifts we most need.  He is at our door; let us open our hearts and  welcome him.  He is the powerful advocate and comforter that we all need at this itme.