Pentecost The blending of the Jewish faith with Christianity was with us from the beginning. When the first communities following the "new way", as we were known early on, began to live out the mystery of Jesus Christ it was clear there was not a clear break between the two. One of the first truly public expressions of our faith was Pentecost. The Jewish and Christian communities were gathered in Jerusalem for the Jewish feast of Hemera (the fiftieth day). It was a harvest festival of the first fruits of the grain harvest. The small Christian community was there for that feast with all their neighbors and friends enjoying the festivities.
It was in this context that this small community experienced their unique identity when the Spirit became manifest to them. This moment, preserved in Acts of Apostles chapter 2, marked the descent of the Spirit upon the disciples, apostles and others, including Mary and other women. The gift of tongues, the discourse of Peter, and the formation of the first Christian church happened at this time. It became known as the birthday of the church. It is important to notice how this "harvest festival" combined with coming of the Spirit brought us Pentecost. Pentecost is the Greek word for Hemera (the Jewish feast of fifty days). This demonstrates the shared communion of the human with the divine. "In him we live and move and have our being". "I am with you always…that where I am you will always be" these assurances give us cause for joy in our lives. Love Monsignor
May 20, 2018 - Pentecost Sunday (click to read)
The coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles on the first Pentecost they celebrated after Jesus’ death and resurrection was a historical event, to be sure, but it is also an event that occurs again and again over thousands of years. The continual movement of the Spirit is apparent in the setting of that first Pentecost. The apostles clustered inside a room, doors locked, hiding from authorities. After the apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit, people from all over Jerusalem could hear them proclaiming their faith. Obviously, the doors and windows were open now! Like the wind, the force of the Holy Spirit could not be contained. Indeed, the fact that they were able to speak in foreign tongues, in the native languages of all the people in Jerusalem no matter how far they had traveled, clarifies the mission of the disciples to spread their faith to all the know world. The Holy Spirit has reversed the effects of Babel. In Genesis, the boastful tower builders scattered to all the corners of the earth once God had confused their Speech. After the gift of the Holy Spirit, people from every country and of every culture gathered together to hear a message that transcended language. The Holy Spirit has no boundaries.
How is the Holy Spirit moving in your Life?
- First Reading - Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11
- Second Reading - 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13
- Gospel - John 20:1-23 or John 15:26-27; 16:12-15
- Msgr McGough's Homily (Click and listen) to be added on May 20th
- Music to reflect (click) - Be not afraid