During these days filled with unprecedented change and emotional upheaval many of us have been finding comfort through written notes, video conferencing, favorite foods, or perhaps walksamid the spring blossoms.

Throughout this Easter season, post-resurrection Gospels have been offering us stories to comfort our hearts, too. We have watched and waited with the disciples for the Risen Christ to show Himself, and have reflected upon the interactions that lifted up grieving individuals and a struggling community.

For example, we have listened as Jesus called Mary Magdalene by name, or walked with downcast Cleopas and his companion on the Emmaus road, leaving them with burning hearts. We have peered into an upper room witnessing how fear became peace and disbelief moved to faith. We have rested with Jesus and his friends near a charcoal fire finding comfort in a shared breakfast on the beach. We have glimpsed Ascension glory, hearing a promise that wrappedaround our heavy hearts like velvet: And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)

Even as we have savored these moments of needed refreshment and hope, we now turn our loving attention in the week ahead to the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Comforter. As Pentecost approaches and as our pandemic lingers, we pray for an outpouring of spiritual graces upon us and our world. May gifts of wisdom and fortitude be sent with other charismatic helps to comfort our collective hearts, and to assure us once again that we do not meet our challenges alone.

Come, Holy Spirit, come, and renew the face of the earth!

Sister Joanne Buckman