This weekend we honor all our mothers, living and deceased. With them we beg the Lord, through Our Lady’s good prayers, to strengthen our families, to bless our homes. With the Church worldwide we also celebrate the feast of the Ascension. We can imagine the angels mentioned in today’s first reading saying to the apostles and to us: Why are you standing here looking up? Get on about your business. Live your lives in the joy and hope of the Risen Jesus.

Jesus is with us precisely because of God’s ongoing presence through the gifts of the Holy Spirit we receive at Pentecost. Like the words of our parents and other mentors, the Holy Spirit provides a rudder of direction for living out the gospel, for letting God take control of our lives. The Holy Spirit teaches us wisdom—to hold and shape our hearts, to motivate and challenge us, to bring us peace.

This suggests some homework for the coming week: figure out just what gifts of the Holy Spirit God has ready for each of us this Pentecost 2013. Perhaps it is a stronger faith. Perhaps the more practical gift of engaging my brain before opening my mouth. Perhaps I need the gift of patience. Or gratitude. Or stronger hope in my life. No matter what the need, God’s Holy Spirit is alive and active. And, as Jesus reminds us today: “Know that I am with you always…until the end of the world.”

The Jesuit Prayer Team