Sunday, June 12, 2011
Pentecost - Holy Spirit for a Community
Pentecost this year had a lot more meaning for me. This is because I
have been studying the Sunday readings, writing blog entries, and
reading the blogs of other Catholics and Christians. Basically I am
just paying more attention. So I was glad when I found that today is
Pentecost and that it made more sense to me, than the past 50 plus years
of prior Pentecosts. It is as my readers would tell me, the celebration
of the Holy Spirit, having been introduced by the breath of Christ in
the upper chamber where the apostles were gathered. I think that this
is indeed a significant celebration. Some have said it is or should be
on par with Easter and Christmas.
What I think is significant about Pentecost is the relationship between
this holy day and our faith communities. The original faith community,
that of the apostles, was transformed in at least 3 ways by Pentecost.
First they received the peaceful but action oriented gift of the Spirit
itself. Secondly, the ability to communicate with people of vastly
different cultures speaking different languages was given them.
Finally, a fervency and desire for their work was instilled, symbolized
by the tongues of fire above their heads. I think each of these
phenomena are best portrayed in the context of their effects on the
Christian Community, at a time when it was in its infancy.
The apostles had fellowship and communication was facilitated by the fact
that they spoke the same language. I'm sure they had their share of
disagreements over the years they worked together following Christ and
his teachings. The presence of the Holy Spirit, following Jesus'
resurrection and ascension, served to fortify their mission. The gift
of language enabled them to reach out to people of different backgrounds
and cultures than their own. Christ was asking them to spread the news
of his resurrection and Salvation to all the world. This sounds great,
but because it takes work, even the apostles were not always up for the
job I would suspect. That is where the gift of awareness of mission, of
work ethic, blessed the 12 apostles.
Dear Father, I pray that I receive the blessing of the Holy Spirit
today, on Pentecost, and each day and that I work with a mission and
goal as sharply focused as your apostles in doing your will. I ask that
my fellow man may understand my words, and more so that I may listen and
witness to your love and understanding and that the news of your
salvation may spread not only to the edges of the earth, but more
importantly to my brothers and sisters who are with me in my daily course of