Sunday 20 May 2018

Pentecost Sunday 2018 A Reflection

Pentecost Sunday 2018

The readings for this weekend's mass are:

First Reading Acts 2:1-11
Responsorial Psalm 104: 1, 24, 29-21, 34 Response 30
Second Reading 1Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13 or Galatians 5: 16-25
Gospel John 20:19-23 or John 15: 26,27 16:12-15

I believe this celebration is one that does not get the focus that it should. Aside from Christmas, and Easter this is one of the most important events in the history of the Church. At Pentecost the followers of Jesus were touched by the Holy Spirit. And a new day in the church began. The disciples were energized and began preaching. And People heard them in their own language. I have done many studies on the Gifts of the Spirit; from both Catholic sources and evangelical. I have lead bible studies on the gifts and fruits of the spirit going back 30 years to my time at Queen's and 20 years ago at the University of Waterloo. 

A few weeks ago, at church a friend at church invited me to a different Parish for a Life in the Spirit group. I had done that course on a vocations weekend over 30 years ago. There is nothing so divisive as interpretations of spiritual gifts and their use today. In Catholic, evangelical, and mainline protestant churches. The debate over what the Holy Spirit can and does do today is nearly endless. I have seen incredible things at Steubenville, at Promise Keepers, and in small groups on university campus. I have seen healings, and also others wait 30 years and are still hopeful for healing. 

This Sunday we are reminded that we are anointed with the Holy Spirit at baptism, confirmation, and during the sacrament of Holy Orders. The Same spirit that performed miracles in the bible, is accessible to us today. I am thankful that I am a member of the Catholic Church that is open to miracles but does not believe they are required. I am thankful that Catholic church is open to the modern use of the gifts of the spirit but does not expect that everyone will speak in tongues. I am thankful we celebrate Pentecost and remember what has happened before, and what can happen again.

And I pray come Holy Spirit come!

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