Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: June 4, 2017

PentecostThis is the Feast of Pentecost. After fifty days of Easter feasting, today we celebrate the gift of the Spirit to the followers of Jesus, and the power of this Spirit in the church. The scriptures remind us that the Spirit leads us to solidarity with each other, the whole world, and all its people. The Spirit does more than make individuals feel good or different. The Spirit breaks down barriers between peoples. The Spirit changes behavior and moves us into community. The Spirit calls us into action.

The coming of the Spirit transforms the Christian community. Locked doors are opened. Fear is replaced by courage. Peace is proclaimed. The power to forgive sins is present. Those who were afraid now speak up boldly. Thousands hear the message in their own language.

The coming of the Spirit likewise needs to be reflected and made real in our lives. In a world of fear, doubt and confusion, the Spirit inspires people to open the doors and speak out especially about issues of justice and peace. In a world of selfishness, competition, and control, the Spirit gives out gifts that are shared for the benefit of all, especially those who are poor or in need. In a world with war, violence and terrorism, the Spirit proclaims a message of peace and reconciliation to all. In a world of economic problems, the Spirit reminds us that the things of the world are mean to be shared by all and are to be used for the common good. In a world where the environment is abused and over-used, the Spirit calls to reform how we live and to use the earth with care and love. The Spirit speaks to people of every nation under heaven. How is the Spirit calling you? Calling us to be more inclusive and welcoming? To encounter and accompany others?

To plumb the depths of the mystery of God, we need one another, we need to encounter one another and to challenge one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who harmonizes diversities, overcomes conflicts, reconciles differences. (Pope Francis 1/25/15)

The Readings:

  • Acts 2: 1-11. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, which had many effects!
  • 1 Cor 12: 3b-7 & 12-13. One Spirit, many gifts; to each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit of all. To share risen life, there should be no breach between us.
  • Sequence: “Veni, Sancte Spiritus” It is the Spirit who empowers us to do our mission. It is Christ's parting gift to us.
  • Jn 20: 19-23. Jesus breathed the Spirit into them - a spirit of forgiveness and peace. Forgiveness is the duty of those sharing risen life: healing the breaches between us, ensuring that we remain “one body” who go out to the world to unleash the Spirit.

Of Note:

  • Youth Confirmation takes place at the 5:30 liturgy, Archbishop Kurtz presiding. Congratulations to all our 9th graders celebrating the coming of the Spirit with this special sacrament!
  • This Feast of Pentecost marks the ending of the Easter season. Many thanks to all who helped make our Easter Season liturgies so prayerful and festive!
  • Taizé Prayer will be chanted on Friday, June 9, 6:50 - 7:25 AM. Begin your day in a beautiful way!
  • Help bring Epiphany Masses to our homebound parishioners! We are looking for a volunteer or two to edit weekly recordings of the liturgies and email them to the homebound. This is a weekly need and takes a couple of hours on a Monday or Tuesday. If you hand help, please contact Linda in the office - we’ll gladly train you!