Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

Gospel Reflection for June 4, 2017, Pentecost

2 Jun

Photo via Flicker user Lawrence OP

Scripture Readings: Acts 2.1-11; 1 Corinthians 12.3-7, 12-13; John 20.19-23

This weekend the Church celebrates Pentecost, the climax of the Easter season and the birthday of the Christian community. In Acts, Luke describes 120 disciples awaiting the Holy Spirit. They have no cell phones for messaging, no practiced words for public speaking, no organizational flow chart. They have only their lived experience of Jesus out of which to weave a new community.  These disciples learned by accompanying Jesus, learned by his doing, found hope in his teaching, and awakened to the promise and purpose of his resurrection. At Pentecost the Spirit sets them on fire to live and spread the good news Jesus is. Crowds from around the Mediterranean hear Peter’s first fiery sermon in their own language.

Our world today challenges us to live the gospel globally as well as locally. We of the third millennium have seen Earth from space. We can phone home from almost anywhere on the planet. Evolution tells us we are part of one great cosmic whole. Our mission seems clear: love one another, heal, forgive. Feed the hungry, welcome the stranger. Weave common bonds.

Around what does your tongue catch fire in your daily conversations? Who do you hear speaking in your own language?

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Gospel Reflection for May 15, 2016, Pentecost

10 May
Photo via Flickr user Lawrence OP

Photo via Flickr user Lawrence OP

Pentecost Sunday Readings: Acts 2.1-11, 1 Corinthians 12.3-7, 12-13; John 20.19-23

“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

(John 20.21)

Pentecost is an event not only about the miracle of fiery tongues for Jesus’ disciples. It is also the miracle of the ear for all those from around the Mediterranean hearing the new message about Jesus, messiah and Lord. We may feel insignificant and powerless like the disciples, a minority among their people. We may be new immigrants trying to learn English, expecting not to understand or be understood. Or, we may be powerful leaders and authoritative persons in our community and church.

Today Christ breathes on each one of us in baptism, powerful and powerless, and sends us forth into the world. If we stand among the powerful, today is a day to listen to those too little heard. If we are among those who have little power, today is a day to speak out and act. The miracle of the ear for the powerful works together with the miracle of the tongue for the powerless. Both miracles are essential to make the Pentecost experience complete. The Pentecost interaction is one we badly need in our polarized nation.

What difference does it make to think of the coming of the Holy Spirit as a miracle of both tongue and ear?

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Pentecost

21 May

“All of us have been given to drink of the same Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 12.13

Let taking deep breaths and drinks of water remind you this week to pray, “Come, Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of us all.”

Pentecost-Sequence(1)

 

 

 

Gospel Reflection for May 24, 2015, Pentecost Sunday

19 May

Gospel-people2

Sunday Readings: Acts 2.1-11; 1 Corinthians 12.3-7, 12-13; John 20.19-23

“Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

(John 19.23)

To send his friends forth with the good news of Easter, Jesus breathes the Spirit on the community gathered in fear and prayer. This is a sacramental scene. Breathing is Jesus’ sign of the Spirit of God’s power in us — invisible but life-essential air, moving into our lungs, hearts, blood, and brain, animating every cell of our bodies, coextensive with being alive. The Holy Spirit is a transforming give in us.

The Spirit calls us always toward peace, unity, and new life. Where bitterness, grudges, greed, pride, estrangement, addiction put up walls, freeze people out, fray family and friendship bonds, there the Spirit unsettles us, looking to mend.

The Spirit thaws the frozen, bends the stubborn, shakes the arrogant. The giver of life empowers us to be life-givers in our relationships and continuously renew the face of earth.

What is a peacemaking action you no longer want to put off?

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The Holy Spirit is hope in us this Pentecost

19 May
Photo via Flickr user Lawrence OP

Photo via Flickr user Lawrence OP

Read aloud these words of our sister Joan Chittister. Thank the Holy Spirit for  dwelling within you, speaking through you, showing God’s face in you.

The Holy Spirit moves us to new heights of understanding, to new types of witness, to new dimensions of life needed in the here and now. The static dies under the impulse of the Spirit of a creating God. We do not live in the past. We are not blind beggers on a dark road groping our separate ways towards God. There is a magnet in each of us, a gift of God that repels deceit and impels us toward good. The gifts are mutual, mitered to fit into one another for strength and surety.

We are, in other words, in the most refreshing trite, most obviously astounding way, all in this together — equally adult, equally full members, equally responsible for the Church. Nor does any one dimension of the Church have a monopoly on insight, on grace, on the promptings of God in this place at this time. The Spirit of God is a wild thing, breathing where it will, moving as it pleases, settling on women and men alike.

from In Search of Belief by Joan Chittister, OSB (Liguouri)

 

 

Gospel Reflection for December 7, 2014, 2nd Sunday of Advent

1 Dec

Sunday Scripture Readings: Isaiah 40.1-5, 9-11; 2 Peter 3.8-14; Mark 1.1-8

“One more powerful than I will come after me.”

Mark 1.7

Like the prophet Elijah, John the Baptist haunt the wilderness. Like Elijah, who discovered God speaking not in storms and lightning but in silence, the Baptist in the silence of his wilderness life senses God is coming among the people in a new way. His preaching and baptizing bring people into the wilderness and ready them for this breakthrough. His baptism washes away a past of simply keeping and breaking the law and symbolizes openness to the reviving Spirit of God.

John promises one more powerful than he is coming. He envisions that this coming figure will also baptize but with the Holy Spirit. Baptism in the Holy Spirit will create people anew more wholly than water cleanses and invigorates.

What do you need to wash away to open yourself to God’s reviving Spirit this Advent season?

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