Gospel Reflection for May 23rd – Pentecost Sunday By Br Michael Moore OMI
Pentecost Sunday – The Spirit makes all things new
Fifty days ago we celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus at Easter. Some were lucky and privileged to have been able to go to church for the Easter liturgies. Sadly some of us were still unable to go to church because of shielding, social restrictions and because churches in some places were still closed. Many took part in the liturgies in their homes as they watched them on line. Hopefully we each took part in our own way and best we could given what we are still living with because of Covid 19.
Today marks the end of the Easter Season but it ends with the life-giving outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the whole world, the church and on each of us personally. Before his Ascension, Jesus promised his followers that he would send them a Helper, an Advocate, namely the Holy Spirit to encourage and strengthen them. This is not something that just happened in the past a long time ago. This dramatic and powerful outpouring of Christ’s new life is happening today, here and now. Today, you and I are personally filled with and anointed with the life-giving and encouraging Holy Spirit.
After more than two thousand years we perhaps look back the first followers of Jesus as being great leaders. Initially they weren’t! They were not strong, confident, courageous or even very faithful. They betrayed Jesus. Peter denied him and the rest of them deserted him when he needed them the most. After his death, they all doubted and hid themselves away out of fear because the Jewish and Roman authorities were looking for them. They had lost all heart and hope.
Then the strangest thing happens to them. The house shakes with the sound of wind and the sight of fire. These frightened followers of Jesus are transformed from within. Through the Holy Spirit they are given new hope, new heart and new purpose. Their fear is silenced and replaced with courage and conviction. They leave the room in which they were hiding and go into the streets to proclaim the good news about Jesus. They become new people with new a new message. At this very moment the missionary church is born.
We are no different from the first followers of Jesus; we too have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit. When we were baptised and celebrated our Confirmation, we too were anointed and filled with Holy Spirit. God says to you and I today and every day; ‘You are my servant, whom I strengthen, in I am well pleased, I have filled you with my Spirit.’ God continues to call and fill us with the same Spirit that the first followers of Jesus experienced. We are sent us out just as they were. Today we are called to be open to Holy Spirit; today we too are called to be transformed so that we can live and share our faith with courage and conviction. Today it is our privilege and responsibility to proclaim the good news about Jesus.
There is nothing mild, gentle or polite about the Holy Spirit or Pentecost; it is wild and radical experience that both encourages and challenges us. Saint Oscar Romero who was murdered while bishop of El Salvador in 1980 said, ‘The Spirit makes all things new, we are the ones who grow old and want to keep everything to our aged way of doing things; the Spirit is never old, the Spirit is always young.’ (17 Dec. 1978)
Today, may each of us be open to experiencing the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. May we be renewed and refreshed with the power of the risen Lord so that in the words of Pope Francis ‘we may, go out again and again without hesitation, without fear to proclaim the joy of the good news which is for all people.’
– Br Michael Moore OMI
|John 15:26-27,16:12-15 ©|
The Spirit of truth will lead you to the complete truth
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