Throughout Spain, one can see countless wind turbines in various landscapes, large, white ominous-looking structures: a huge, white horizontal column rising hundreds of feet, capped by three long outstretched blades that turn with the wind, creating a natural source for energy. They are the post-modern version of the traditional windmill, not nearly as beautiful, however. I see them each day as I gaze on the distant horizon, walking past them, attune to their “humming” sound. It feels almost eerie.
When I think of these massive turbines, I’m drawn to the Holy Spirit. The blades of each turbine is completely dependent upon the wind and its force. Without the wind…no energy, which means back to fossil fuels. We need to “harness” the wind to create energy. Isn’t it true of the Holy Spirit: we need to harness the Spirit of our lives and the life of the church so that we can be propelled forward. Each human being is a human “wind turbine,”harnessing the wind of the Spirit, giving a spiritual energy that ignites the human spirit within. Our Church must allow the Spirit to give it the energy and impetus to move forward, proclaiming Christ to the nations. The Church must “catch” this Spirit wind and be moved by this Holy Breath of creativity.
Today we celebrate the gospel writer Luke, who also composed the second volume to the gospel known as the Acts of the Apostles. Luke was a gentile physician who experienced a conversion to Christ and the Gospel. This conversion transformed Luke into a human turbine of the Holy Spirit, as he was moved to go into the world as companion to Christ and other disciples. He listened to the stories of Christ told by disciples and the Spirit “harnessed” the faith and imagination of Luke which propelled him to write down the message in a beautiful form called the “gospel,” which is nothing more than a unified piece of writing with a particular focus or vision. Luke, the physician, presents a tender Jesus who wants to heal the sick and reach out to the sinner. Luke’s gospel unfolds a Jesus deeply in love with the poor and the outcast , who have a central focus in this gospel.
Luke, like the other three gospel evangelists, allowed the Spirit to move heart and pen, creating a written expression of the Truth, who is Christ. The message of Christ is not just one among many equals. His is the only Message that embraces the totality of the truth about God, creation, humanity, grace and redemption. Luke is NOT Jewish, but gentile, and his gospel expands the message to the whole world and beyond.
In Luke’s gospel, Jesus sends the disciples…US..into the world, never alone but in pairs to eventually create communities of faith propelled and energized by the Spirit. Can you imagine what could happen if our parish and our Church became completely dependent upon the energy of the Spirit? Can you imagine what would happen to our liturgies, our programs (do we even need them) our catechetical and social outreach, our presence in the larger world, our music and religious architecture, our bible study, our spirituality…if the Holy Spirit were given more freedom to move us and transform us?
I have such hope. Let’s move foreword together, in prayer and in Spirit, allowing this Spirit greater breath and freedom. Changing our teachings will do nothing to swell the ranks; changing our hearts is the only response that will attract people. Transformed hearts moved by the Spirit of Christ.
St. Luke. Pray for us.
St. Teresa of Avila. Pray for us.
St James of Santiago. Pray for us.