Happy Birthday! Today we celebrate Pentecost it’s the church’s birthday when the Holy Spirit came down to the disciples and ignited a burning fire in their hearts to proclaim the kingdom of God. What an image we have in the readings of the Acts of the apostles;
“And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” -Acts 2:2-4
A room filled with exhausted people with wind and fire is almost impossible. This should have been a recipe for disaster, as people panicked and fled and injured themselves and others —a tragic end to a fledgling religion.
But that’s not what happened. Instead of people filled with fear, they were filled with God. They were given insights that allowed them to speak in other languages, literally, as we see by the crowd’s wonder when understanding the disciples’ words in multiple foreign tongues. But the disciples were also symbolically given the gift of speaking in “other languages” as we see in Peter’s speech. Peter, who had begged Christ not to go to Jerusalem, who had denied his Lord three times, who had sometimes displayed a little too clearly how fitting “Rock” was for his new name, suddenly had a clarity of God’s plan that was utterly unique. Indeed, Peter’s speech in Acts 2:14-40 is remarkable in that revelations were being shared by the flash on insight given by the Holy Spirit. Instead of fear or worry or doubt or denial, Peter was speaking an “other language”.
And the thing is, the Holy Spirit still moves among us, and still gifts us with these flashes of insight that allow us to speak another language. Those moments when suddenly we say just the right words of comfort to a friend, or offer council wiser than our ability, or find the courage to venture down a totally unfamiliar path, those moments when we act in ways larger and braver and kinder than ourselves, we are part of Pentecost.
We will never, in this life, actually hold the Divine Infant in our arms, nor will our lips kiss the bloodstained feet of the Crucified Lord. Our souls may, through prayer and meditation, however our bodies have to stay behind. But Pentecost offers us a chance to not simply observe, but actually participate, should we learn to be attentive to that wind and fire, and remain open the promptings of the Holy Spirit. God offers us a chance to speak a new language, if we keep our hearts and ears open to Him. Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful! That is my prayer for each one of you today.
Peace and blessings!
LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER
by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown
May 24, Pentecost Sunday
“Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love.”
The Feast of Pentecost officially ends the Easter Season. The Holy Spirit came upon the disciples in wind and fire. We celebrate the action and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives!
Songs for the 9 am Mass:
Gathering Song: Envia Tu Espiritu BB # 455
Gloria in excelsis Deo, Gloria, gloria!
Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra, terra pax.
Psalm 104: Lord send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
Sequence: Come, O Holy Spirit, Come # 194 (Tune: Ode to Joy)
Preparation of Gifts: Holy Spirit # 195
Communion: We Are One Body (ss)
Recessional: Lay Down That Spirit (ss))