Sunday, June 8, 2014

Today's Mass Readings - Pentecost Sunday, June 8, 2014 with Reflection

Solemnity of the Pentecost

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. 5Now 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. 7They 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 native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia 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, 29-30, 31, 34
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! In wisdom you have wrought them all — 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 - 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13
Brothers and sisters: No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. 12 As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
John 20:19-23
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.23 Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”


Happy birthday to us!

       Today we celebrate the birthday of the Church since it was on the first Pentecost that many were added to the number of disciples. The Spirit breathed on the disciples His life-giving power, and they became missionaries of the Gospel. At first, they were frightened. Only when Jesus came and breathed upon them were they empowered to proclaim the Gospel. Jesus then invited them to receive the Holy Spirit.

       This reminds me of the second chapter of Genesis, whereby God breathes into man and he becomes a living being. Like Ezekiel, who, under God’s command, sees the winds and breathes life into the dead bones, and they become a strong army. Like the Spirit, who hovered over the face of the earth’s chaos of void and confusion, blowing life into all creation according to the will of God. Like the Spirit, who is invoked at every Eucharist, over the bread and wine to become the Body and Blood of Christ. Such power there is in the Spirit. Such power there is in the breath of Jesus.

       One of my favorite hymns is “Breath of God.” The first line reads: “Breathe on me, breath of God, fill me with life anew, that I may love what Thou does love and do what Thou would do.” It speaks of the breath of God that takes over one whose life is given to the power of the Spirit. We all know what power there is in the wind. Typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes and the like are the most powerful forms of wind. We are also aware of the cool breeze coming from the ocean on a hot summer’s day, or the breeze so common in the Philippines at Christmas time.

       This is how our God comes sometimes — like the powerful wind, noticeable at Pentecost, or like the gentle breeze that Elijah experienced at Mount Carmel.

       The breath of God comes to us today and always when we call upon the Spirit. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
REFLECTION QUESTION: Seek a word or phrase that strikes you in the Gospel today. Stay with it, ponder it, and allow it to take root in your life. What is the Spirit trying to tell you?
Come, Holy Spirit, come. Give us Your gifts and may we live the fruit of Your Spirit in our lives. Amen.

St. William of York, pray for us.

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