Pentecost Sunday ~ 5 June 2022 ~ Bible readings for Mass of the Day: I: Acts 2:1-11; Responsorial: Psalm 104; II: I Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13 or Romans 8: 8-17; Gospel: John 14: 15-16, 23b-26. or John 20:19-23
Pentecost Sunday, fifty days after the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus is a feast of the great promises and power of God indwelling the faithful. The word soon to be used by the Church is “baptized”, or immersed in to promises and power, the Presence of God.
It is a Catholic tradition to focus on images of Pentecost wherein Mary, the mother of our Lord, with the Apostles are the recipients of the outpouring of God that first Pentecost. It comes from the Book of Acts that shares: “All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” [Acts 1: 14] This last direct New Testament reference to Mary is a beautiful image of she who brings the Gospel story, filled with the Holy Spirit. And who now brings the story of the birth of her Son’s Church… seeking the Holy Spirit. There is no mention of Mary in the actual account of the day of Pentecost. It is presumed she was present, with the other women as the Apostles and the other disciples waited for God’s promise. The Apostles and Mary were undoubtedly seekers of and special recipients of the immersion in the Spirit of God that holy day. But it is also very evident that the promise and power of Pentecost was and is fully intended by God to immerse all the faithful in the work and holy love of the Kingdom of Christ.
The symbolic images of fire and wind on that first Pentecost would remind us of the passion and force of Christ in His redemptive mercy and passion, death and conquest of sin, death, and evil. This liberating Truth is our own immersion personally but also to be shared in and through our lives. It is no coincidence that the other major image of the power and Presence of the Spirit of God is the gift of tongues. While that phrase can both bless or intimidate hearers it is a message of the necessity of the Paraclete to immerse our message and words in the holy healing grace of God.
Our world, the people of God (the Church) are in urgent of a fresh outpouring and immersion into the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Great is the need for the faithful to focus in our call to seek and glorify God and not the distracting tangents of this world. Great is the longing of Jesus for us all to know the consecrating fire of His holy love in, and through our lives.
The Feast of Pentecost has a gem within the liturgy that may, or may not be shared during Mass, (it comes just prior to the Gospel). Known as The Sequence, Veni Sancte Spriitus, Come O Holy Spirit has been a part of the Church for centuries. It is a prayer for our hearts, our families and for God’s Church. Let us all carefully listen, reflect and prayer: “Veni Sancte Spiritus, Come, O Holy Spirit, Come!”