This homily is based on John 20:19-23 for Pentecost Sunday.
There is a mysterious, but beautiful stained glass window in the Oratory of St. Francis Xavier in Nuvali. There are over twenty such windows in that chapel, each one designed by artist Carlo Tanseco, and each one a piece of art in its own right. Every time I walk into the chapel, I never fail to be surprised to find myself suddenly bathed in the light and colors streaming through the windows.
Yet there is one particular window that you won’t see unless you go into the reconciliation room, where it is installed behind closed doors. It’s an image as mysterious as it is instructive because it teaches us a couple of valuable lessons about the Holy Spirit in our lives.
This reflection was made on the occasion of Pentecost Sunday, which this year falls on 08 June, the death anniversary of the English Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.
I read my first Hopkins poem as a freshman in high school. The poem was “God’s Grandeur” contained in an anthology of poems carefully selected and compiled for us by our English teachers.
But between me and Hopkins, it wasn’t a case of love at first sight. An adolescent who had barely learned to appreciate any kind of poetry, I found his language and style too alien. And for some reason, the verses he wrote were much less accessible to me than the better known and more frequently quoted poems about roads less taken, tigers burning bright, and even that one creepy raven.