Pentecost: The Fiftieth Day of Easter

“And all were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” Acts 2,4

Today, we celebrate the day when the Holy Spirit first came to confused and frightened disciples. We share their confusion and their fear in this, our own day … but we pray, as they prayed, asking for an outpouring of the Spirit to give us the courage and the grace we need to endure. Let us remember that the Spirit did not descend upon the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin with destructive power, but with the power to gather the scattered, unite the many, fill the empty, disclose what was hidden, reveal the unknown, open minds, enter hearts, bring understanding, and heal what was broken. With what appeared to be hurricane-force winds and open flames, the Spirit came and no one was harmed; because, as the Creed says, the Spirit is the “giver of life … to be adored and glorified.”

On this Pentecost, we are likely not going to find ourselves speaking in tongues or caught in a windstorm of spiritually epic proportions! More likely we will have to look for the spirit in the ordinariness of our daily lives, but, to be sure, the Spirit is there, waiting for an entry point, hoping we will slow down enough for the movement to catch up with us and propel us forward.

“Send down, O God, upon your people the grace of your Holy Spirit and fill, with the abundance of your gifts, the Church you brought forth from your Son’s pierced side. May your life-giving Spirit lend conviction to our words and strength to our witness. Help us to proclaim with boldness your wondrous work of bringing us through death to new life by raising Christ from the dead. You who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.”

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