For decades, physicists have been searching for a tiny particle that most of us never even think about. Scientists describe it as the missing piece to understanding the Universe. This tiny particle is important because it gives all matter its mass. It’s called the Higgs Boson Particle. Hundreds of feet underground, scientists have built a huge particle collider seventeen miles in circumference. And they’ve been using it nonstop since 1998, but it wasn’t until 2012 that the existence of this particle was tentatively—not completely—confirmed. That’s one elusive little particle.
Thankfully, today’s Gospel isn’t asking us to explore particle physics. Instead, Saint Luke is inviting us to seek after the Higgs Boson Particle of the Christian life, which is the Holy Spirit.
Our Lord urges his disciples to pray persistently; and he talks about the Holy Spirit at the very last minute. This can make the Holy Spirit seem like an afterthought. But if you look at Saint Luke’s Gospel as a whole, you’ll find the Holy Spirit showing up at almost every turn. In the Acts of the Apostles, which Saint Luke also wrote, the Holy Spirit takes centre stage. And it’s no wonder, because the Holy Spirit is God’s power in the world.
Now we don’t have to develop an expensive and complicated science experiment in order to find the Holy Spirit. We don’t need a large hadron particle collider. We can find evidence of his presence in our own heart and in the world around us. It’s the Holy Spirit who draws us to read and study the Scriptures, and to spend time in prayer. He nudges us to reach out to people in need, or to share our faith. The Holy Spirit persistently moves in our heart, calling us again and again to return to him.
The Holy Spirit is moving in us today, just as he was in the Early Church.