May 31, 2020
by Tom Shanahan, S.J.
Creighton University's Athletic Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Pentecost Sunday - Mass during the Day
Lectionary: 63

Acts 2:1-11
Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13
John 20:19-23

Pope Francis' homily for Pentecost - 2019
| 2018 |

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

“Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,” is our profound and central prayer of remembering, honoring, and praising God.  Today we celebrate the feast of Pentecost, a feast that explicitly acknowledges receiving the Holy Spirit as guide for our daily lives.

Pentecost gratefully honors God’s saving and desire-for-our holiness in our contemporary world.  In his consoling address to the disciples as he was about to leave them, he promised that they would not be abandoned, but would receive the Spirit to continue the work of saving and making us holy.

Sometimes it is a struggle to discover the ways of the Holy Spirit, but the “gifts” of the Spirit are guides for their discovery.  Whenever we experience love, joy, greatness of heart and realization of God’s presence, that is the Holy Spirit’s work in us.  Their opposites do not come from God’s Spirit!

There are many images of the Spirit’s presence for us better to find God’s Spirit.  The Spirit is the promised Advocate (on our side, pleading for us). The breath of the Spirit hovers over the chaos that ruled before creation.  The spirit is the breath that animates the clay of earth that becomes Adam. Breath and fire dominate the expressions of who the Spirit is and how the Spirit presents his advocacy on our behalf: dove; tongues of fire; cloud, wind; flame; befriender and deifier.

Pentecost is the birth of the Church.  After the tongues of fire rest above their heads, the disciples immediately preach to the people: Parthians, Medes, inhabitants of Mesopotamia and travelers from Rome.  People from all over the known world who speak different tongues, yet each one hears and understands in their own language.  The embodiment of the Holy Spirit’s primary role in our history begins at that moment and continues till now.

In our contemporary surroundings we are inheritors of the Spirit’s life and love and are blessed to discover the Spirit made manifest to our senses each.  It is as if the Holy Spirit lusts to show us physically who he is and how he loves and cares for us, in our own language, our senses.  Can I open myself to see, hear and touch the Spirit’s blessings?  Can I be open to the call to notice and respond?

Lord, especially these days as we endure the violence of Covid19, send us your Spirit.  Grace us with wisdom and discernment, courage to be strong of faith, and keenly aware of your care and comfort.  Teach us to recognize you in these gifts of your Spirit and to accept gratefully your desire for our constant growth as your people.

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