Today we celebrate Pentecost Sunday, the birthday of the Church. In one of the most radical stories in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit swoops down upon a group of frightened and lost followers with such ferocity that they could see, feel and hear what was heretofore invisible. To say they were transformed is perhaps an understatement. All was turned upside down and inside out. And right in the dramatic midst of the tongues of fire and howling wind was the first apostle, the one who knew the Holy Spirit intimately. Icons of Pentecost always show Mary, calm and serene, in the midst of the amazed apostles. It is as if she is telling them not to worry~this is going to be the “new normal.” Although none of them knew what was ahead, they knew life would never be the same. May a new spirit of Pentecost come upon each of us today and may we be open to whatever gifts are poured upon us.