The Holy Spirit transforms the followers of Christ,
preparing them for their mission
Reflections on the readings for Pentecost Sunday, Mass during the day (May 20, 2018): ACTS 2:1-11; PS 104:1,24,29-30,31,34; 1 COR 12:3-7,12-13 or GAL 5:16-25; JN 20:19-23 or JN 15:26-27; 16:12-15
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
In the days after Christ returned to the Father, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Apostles and other disciples gathered frequently in prayer.
They were together for Pentecost (from the Greek for fiftieth day), a Jewish harvest feast held fifty days after Passover to honor the giving of the law – the Ten Commandments – to Moses. “When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.… 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” (Acts 2:1,3-4). Jesus had told them that He would not leave them alone, but surely the coming of the Spirit in wind and fire must have overwhelmed them.
Certainly the gift of tongues astounded not only them, but also the people from different lands who were in Jerusalem and heard them speak. Yet, while the Holy Spirit offers many gifts, it is in the fulfillment of the paschal mystery begun with the suffering and death of Jesus that is most significant. This was the beginning of the Church. Those closest to our Redeemer received the grace and spiritual gifts they would need to proclaim the world of God with understanding and courage. Now we ask the Holy Spirit to help us embrace those gifts we are offered – yet too often fail to use well – in order that we may truly appreciate and share our holy faith.