Sunday, May 19, 2013

Today's Gospel Reading - Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 2013 with Reflection

Pentecost Sunday

1ST READING - Acts 2:1-11
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his own native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontusand Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, 11 both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.”
P S A L M - 
Psalm 104:1, 24, 31, 34, 29-30
R: Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord, my God, you are great indeed! 24 How manifold are your works, O Lord! The earth is full of your creatures; (R) 31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord be glad in his works! 34 Pleasing to him be my theme; I will be glad in the Lord. (R) 29 If you take away their breath, they perish and return to their dust. 30 When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth. (R)
2nd READING - 
Romans 8:8-17 (or 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13)
Brothers and sisters: Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit that dwells in you. 12 Consequently, brothers and sisters, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a Spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “ Abba, Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
John 14:15-16, 23-26 (or John 20:19-23)
15 Jesus said to his disciples: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another
Advocate to be with you always. 23 Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. 24 Those who do not love me do not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me. 25 I have told you this while I am with you. 26 The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name — will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”



Happy birthday to us! Today, the Church is born of the Spirit.

       In the Gospel, Jesus breathes on the Apostles His gift of life and love —the Holy Spirit. The Spirit dispels all fear and the Apostles boldly proclaim that Jesus is Lord and Savior.

       I like to reflect on the greetings of our Easter brothers and sisters. In Russian Orthodox tradition, on this Easter morn, they greet each other like this: “The Lord has truly risen.” What a wonderful greeting. In the West, as we exchange niceties about the weather and family, our Orthodox friends greet one another in the way just mentioned. Often we forget the beauty and wonder of this day. Yes, my friends, the Lord has risen indeed!

       Today is Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost was that ancient agricultural feast celebrating the first fruits of the field 50 days after the Passover. The Church now celebrates Pentecost as the day the Risen Jesus sent His Spirit 50 days after His death — a first-fruit offering to the Father. Let us receive that offering, the breath of God.

       As God breathed first into the nostrils of man, and man became a living being, so now the Holy Spirit is breathed upon us. Today, let us thank God for the gift of breath, which we so easily take for granted.

       Allow the Lord to breathe into our lives again. May His Spirit bring healing to our wounds, renew our strength, and bend our stubborn hearts to His will. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
REFLECTION QUESTION: What areas of your life need the fresh breath of God — the Holy Spirit?
Come, Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of Your faithful and renew us. Amen

St. Theophilus of Corte, pray for us.

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