Pentecost Sunday – Easter Cycle C
A PENTECOST SEQUENCE
Come, oh Holy Spirit, come!
And make our timid hearts your own.
In Juarez, blow your mighty wind.
In Haiti, Spirit, enter in.
In war zones here and far away
Let your healing love hold sway.
Change our hearts, our hates, our lives.
Touch the place where meanness thrives.
Come, oh Spirit, open wide
The doors we like to hide behind.
The wounds we hold, the hurts we feed―
Help us, Spirit, to be freed.
And on this Feast Day, give us light
To feel His presence in the night.
Our sadness gone, our faith restored
Proclaims that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Can you remember a time when the Spirit let you see that God was near?
May we be open to the Spirit, that he may make a big difference in our lives and help us to grow toward our loving God.
Beautiful, unique and completely needed website! I love it.
Today I was complaining a lot about the unrelenting wind in Colorado. It took me nearly half the day to remember that this weekend is Pentecost. Then I remembered the title of one of the songs we would sing today, “Spirit Wind” by Scott Soper. I moved from being annoyed by the wind to gratitude for the reminder of the power of the Holy Spirit. While the wind ravaged our back-yard, it created an opportunity for our family to spend time together on a project cleaning and freshening up our home. God is always near, but I forget that sometimes. The wind, your website and Pentecost reminded me to always look for God’s presence everywhere. Thank you!
I felt the same way about the Colorado wind yesterday, until I, too, made the connection between the wind and the Holy Spirit. It was such a blessing, then, to be at Tending the Scriptures yesterday afternoon and allow the Pentecost Scriptures come to life in our sharing. Thanks all for a powerful beginning to the celebration of Pentecost! “Blaze Spirit, Blaze!”
How fitting these winds have been, the Holy Spirit breathing forcefully to arouse our awareness of Her ever-presence in our lives; filling us with the Wisdom only She can impart to strengthen our faith and spirituality. I am so thankful for the annual Pentecost celebration that serves to revitalize the Spirit among us. God bless all!!
Well, now that I’ve read your instructions on how to comment, the Spirit moves me to comment on the Corinthians reading. This is one of my favorite readings, as it reminds us how much we are interdependent; we need each other to function in this world and in the Church. My analogy comes from my health care background….the brain is the control center of the entire body, and the body can’t function without an intact brain. Yet, despite having all the power to control the body it is useless, nay, powerless, without the limbs to respond to the commands to move and perform their actions. Without the response of the lungs to exchange oxygen, the heart to pump blood through all the organs, the bone marrow, kidney an liver for blood component production, the kidney, liver and spleen to filter out toxins….you get the idea. Without a collaborative operation of all the components, the body is not whole and does not function effectively…in fact, may die. To consider oneself independently capable of living life fully is as inane as considering the body whole and healthy without one of its parts. I wonder why it is so difficult for us to open ourselves completely to others and admit our need? It is so difficult to be vulnerable, and yet it is essential characteristic if we want the kind of connection with others we are called to. It requires a sacrifice of safety and willingness to accept the pain that may result from being misunderstood or, rejection as a member of the body. With the divine grace of the Holy Spirit we will continue to improve our understanding of one another and ourselves.
Our deacon preached today about the Holy Spirit in the context of the family of the Trinity. I love that we are called to image God in a community of love. If we did that–constantly–how much could we change the world? May it begin with me and my family!
There are two great defining moments in the story of my life as a lover of the written word and its power to transform and awaken our own spirit, which is after all what happens when we recognize the presence of God’s Spirit. The first is a memory of a childhood encounter with the word and the second is a similar encounter with the Word as a young adult.
Books were ubiquitous in our childhood, from before we could even speak. I memorized all my favorite picture books and knew all the words that went with each page. In my way, I thought this was reading because I could “read” entire books from start to finish and I could recognize separate words if they appeared in another place. But I remember with perfect clarity a day in kindergarten when we were flipping through our letter books. Remember these? There was a picture on each page for a word that started with that letter. The first few pages, it was the same as always: I could ‘read’ the word because of the picture on the page and my familiarity with the book. But something different happened that day when we got to the J page. There was a drawing of a green jeep, a capital and lower-case ‘j’ and the word ‘jeep.’ At that exact moment, I understood for the first time that the letter by itself represented a sound and not just a part of that whole word. It was a revelation. I knew then I could read anything, not just the familiar stories with pictures, not just the prayers from the missalette I had memorized. Anything. It was like being struck by lightning. This was the real beginning of a lifelong passion for reading that has rewarded me with so many rich gifts. It is only upon reflection later in life that I recognize the presence of the Spirit in that moment, of course, but I have no doubt this gift of understanding and possibility and power could come only as pure grace from God.
The second experience is similar. As a cradle Catholic, I was raised and nourished by daily mass and Catholic school. As such, I “knew” the stories of the gospel intimately, understanding their role as the animating force of the liturgical year, but I knew the gospels only as an undifferentiated whole and as a completely episodic collection of stories. That all changed for me in the course of one class session. This was in the incomparable early days of the Catholic Biblical School of the Archdiocese of Denver. My heart had been prepared in the first year where we learned to read with care and with respect for the integrity of each inspired book of the bible. In this particular class, we were introduced to the technical meaning of the title Christ/Messiah. For me, the two words “Jesus Christ” had always formed simply one of the names of the Son; it was not a proclamation of his identity and role in our salvation. Recognizing the enormity of a gospel writer applying this term to Jesus at a specific moment in the text was truly like having a new revelation of God’s work in history. I was ‘hearing’ the gospel again but for the first time, and I knew the Spirit was in that room, in our hearts, in MY heart. This realization opened my heart to understand the power of the gospels in a new way. To know the urgency of these four very different messages about the revelation of Jesus the Christ, the one who came into the world. All the stories had new richness of meaning: the centurion’s proclamation, Martha’s staggering profession of Jesus as the Christ (the first person in all the gospels to proclaim him as such, and before he had even resurrected her beloved brother), the soaring prologue of John’s gospel. This second epiphany of the Spirit was like the first: making me aware of a new horizon, revealing my former understanding to be so provisional, so incomplete, and filling me with hope and a hunger for the new possibilities.
And now there is this wonderful web site, the gift of love from a person who has been my constant companion in the journey of faith. The Spirit has richly blessed her and filled her with a need to proclaim the good news, and we are all the richer for it. Pentecost, indeed.
I love the image of always moving toward Christ! The Pentecost homily today was on relativism….finding ways to deviate from the true teachings and justify those actions! I had the opportunity to speak with the priest later in the day, and he stressed the continued teaching of virtue. By teaching virtue, we are always moving toward Christ, and he will always be there for us. We just need to keep our eyes open!
Your website is beautiful and driven by the Spirit. May the Spirit continue to move in you and all of us. Mighty wind, mighty spirit, mighty change. We all need it – and our church needs it the most.
Congratulations on your wonderful new website. It is a blessing for all who are interested in deepening their experience of the weekly liturgy.
I clipped your Pentecost sequence and put it on my refrigerator.
I prayed for 2 specific gifts of the Holy Spirit to be renewed in me, after reading last week’s column. I knew only a tiny fraction of how much I would and will need each of those gifts.
The ONLY way I’ll keep from falling back, after the gifts of Pentecost, is to keep walking, and talking.
Thank you for the website. It’s much-needed support!
You have always been a blessing in my life.
Though I suppose I might be approaching the text from a slightly different perspective, I can’t help but be moved by the phrase of the reading from Acts: “When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.” What does it mean to truly be “all in one place together”? Yes, surely it refers to location, but does it not also call us to move beyond the spiritual materialism of ego into the broader understanding of shared “oneness”? Could it be that we are able to fully realize the spiritual gifts bestowed in us only when we authentically take the time to encourage and support others in their gifts, thus, negating the fear of our own storylines? Is that what it means for the time of Pentecost to be fulfilled…to transcend the enslavement of attachment that comes from the delusion of separateness? Oh dear, how easy it is to hide oneself within one’s own shadow.
Thank you, Kathy, for providing this beautiful website of inspiration. You are a blessing to us all!