More than a century ago, a great sailing ship was stranded off the coast of South America. Week after week the ship lay there in the still waters with not a hint of a breeze. The captain was desperate; the crew was dying of thirst. And then, on the far horizon, a steamship appeared, headed directly toward them. As it drew near, the captain called out, “We need water! Give us water!” The steamship replied, “Lower your buckets where you are.” The captain was furious at this cavalier response but called out again, “Please, give us water.” But the steamer gave the same reply, “Lower your buckets where you are!” And with that they sailed away! The captain was beside himself with anger and despair, and he went below. But a little later, when no one was looking, a crewman lowered a bucket into the sea and then tasted what he brought up: It was perfectly sweet, fresh water! For you see, the ship was just out of sight of the mouth of the Amazon. And for all those weeks they had been sitting right on top of all the fresh water they needed!
This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit comes upon the disciples. This was what was remembered in our parish on Wednesday 29th May when 28 children received the Sacrament of Confirmation. When we pray, we don’t pray that the Holy Spirit will come to us. The Holy Spirit is already inside of us. We don’t have to go looking for it. We first received the Holy Spirit at our Baptism. We then received the fullness of the Holy Spirit at our Confirmation. Our prayer should be that we will allow ourselves to be guided under the Holy Spirit that is already present.