Feast of Pentecost
May 23, 2021
Reflection by Mother Marie Julie, SCMC
My Dear Good People,
Today we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. Many Catholics have just completed a novena in preparation for this, the day Jesus sent the Holy Spirit on Mary and the apostles, and, in His blessed goodness, on all of us who are believers.
The story of the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost is told in the Acts of the Apostles, the fourth book of the New Testament. St. Luke tells us in Chapter 2:1-13 of the moment when the Spirit of Jesus came to rest upon the gathered group nine days after the Ascension of Jesus. There was a rushing wind, and tongues of fire that rested above the head of each person there. These outwards signs, wind and fire, have been the symbols used in art, poetry and music since that day two millennia ago. But they were just that: outward signs of the profound inner gift of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit with His gifts of wisdom, understanding fortitude, counsel, piety, knowledge and fear of the Lord (reverence for God). Those present at the first Pentecost were instantly transformed from frightened, insecure people to brave seekers and speakers of the Word of God. At the Last Supper Jesus had promised them that He would send His Spirit to them–the apostles, and to us–and this Pentecost day was the fulfillment of that Promise.
He is the Gift of God. And what a gift He is ! He is the Fountain of our holiness, the Breath of God, The Spirit of Fire. The Voice of Truth. Comforter. Advocate. He is the Promise of the Father who comes to us as we are, bringing with Him the specific Graces we need to be faithful to our Baptism and to become the saints we are all called to be. He teaches us all we need to know, and inspires us with virtue to love God and to love our neighbor, meaning every person whose life touches ours.
When He first came to the apostles and disciples at Pentecost, there were miracles of tongues. When they spoke of Jesus to the crowds gathered outside the doors of the room where they had gathered awaiting the anointing by the Holy Spirit, all understood the words they spoke to them. And they were people from all over the known world, we are told in the reading today at Holy Mass. This understanding is reflected in the way the Holy Spirit speaks within each of us today: He places on our hearts the desire to do good to one in need, or to choose a certain college, or to leave one job for another; to marry the person of our dreams or to enter the Religious Life. He tells us softly to avoid this certain situation because it will be hurtful to our soul, or to embrace a charitable project that might be costly, but rewarding for others. Above all, He tells, over and over, that when we are wounded, God heals us. Though we are broken, we are precious to God. The Spirit of Love is the Light in our darkness, the Fullness in our emptiness.
Today on this beautiful Feast of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit longs to come to you and set you afire with His Love, take some time to sit quietly with Him. Close your eyes and say, in these words or your own,
Beloved Holy Spirit, my Northern Star in my search for Truth, thank You for Your presence within me. Even when I am unaware of You, or I forget You, I believe, I know that you hold my heart deep within the stillness where you are found. Today I embrace You as the Gift of the Father to me, as the Breath of Life stirring me to wholeness and holiness. In my times of doubt show me the certain way. In my heartbreak, fill me with hope. And in my sinfulness. draw me gently to Jesus where I find the courage to seek His forgiveness, knowing that Mercy is His other Name. I ask that you guide me to Mary who loved You beyond telling, because I want to learn from her how to love You as she did. Today, on this great Feast of Wind and Fire, I open my heart to You that You may hear my words: I love You. I trust Your inspirations. Pour Yourself out on me in the fullness of Your Wisdom , and may I ever belong to You. I ask this of You, in the name of Jesus, Amen .
May you have a blessed Pentecost Day and may all your days be filled with the love of the Holy Spirit.
God bless you.