May 24, 2015


May 24, 2015:  Pentecost Sunday

  • 'Holy Spirit' chain: They were all filled with the Holy Spirit (1st reading); lots of other references
  • 'Earth' tie:  "Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth." (psalm)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders: "Shine within these hearts"; "Bend the stubborn heart" (sequence); love, a fruit of the Spirit (2nd reading)
  • 'Jubilee year' button:  joy, a fruit of the Spirit (2nd reading)
  • 'Key' tie pin: "when the doors were locked, Jesus came:..."  (gospel)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  ..."Peace!... Receive the Holy Spirit." (gospel); peace, a fruit of the Spirit (2nd reading)
  • Red and white shirt:  red for Holy Spirit, white for (last day of the) Easter season
Today's Guest Dressers

Jamie and Lori
Lori's "Holy Spirit" chain,
close up

  • Envía tu Espíritu/ Hurd; caveat:  recording has the original "Sea renovada..." ("Let/may [the face of the earth] be renewed") that sounds like "Se ha renovada..." ("[The face of the earth] has been renewed") (sheet music); he shifted it an eighth note (sheet music) so it sounds right.  (Ignore the video's lyrics typos.)

Pope Francis
Homily:  The gift of the Holy Spirit on the eve of the Resurrection took place again at Pentecost, intensified by extraordinary signs, like a wind shaking the Upper Room, filling the Apostles' minds and hearts, giving them new strength to proclaim the Resurrection in different languages.  With them was Mary, Mother of Jesus, first disciple and Mother of the newborn Church.
The Spirit is still at work, guiding us into truth, renewing the earth, and giving his fruits.  Jesus promised the Spirit would come guide us into the truth.  The Spirit gave the Apostles a new understanding of the truth and beauty of the Cross and Resurrection.  Once paralyzed with fear in the Upper Room, they were no longer ashamed to be Christ’s disciples.  Spirit-filled, they'd understand that Jesus' death was the ultimate expression of God’s love, a love that in the Resurrection conquers death and exalts Jesus as Lord and Redeemer. 
The Spirit renews the earth.  The birth of the Church in the Acts of the Apostles is significantly linked to Psalm 104, a hymn of praise to the Creator.  The Holy Spirit Christ sent and the Creator Spirit who gives everything life are one and the same.  Our faith requires us to respect creation:  our “garden” isn't entrusted to us to be exploited but to be tended with respect, but that's possible only if we let the Spirit renew us, allow the Father to re-form us to the model of Christ; then we can be free and in harmony with creation and see God's glory in every creature. 
Paul contrasts the vices of the flesh, the works of selfish people closed to God, to the fruits manifested in people who walk in the way of the Spirit, those who allow God's Spirit to break into their lives.  He appeals, “Walk by the Spirit.”  The world needs Spirit-filled people.  There are many ways to close yourself to the Spirit and so lose freedom:  selfishness, legalism, neglect of what Jesus taught, pursuing personal interests instead of serving others, and many other ways.  The world needs the courage, hope, faith, and perseverance of Christ’s followers.  The world needs the fruits of the Spirit.  The Spirit has been bestowed upon the Church and upon each of us so that we may live lives of faith and charity, sowing reconciliation and peace.  Strengthened by the Spirit and his gifts, may we battle against sin and corruption, devoting ourselves to works of justice and peace. 
Regina Cœli recalling yesterday's beatification’s of Archbishop Romero and Sr. Irene Stefani:  Archbishop Oscar Romero, zealous pastor, example of Jesus, killed in hatred of the faith while celebrating the Eucharist, chose to be among his people, especially the poor and the oppressed, even at the cost of his life.  Consolata Missionary Sr. Irene Stefani served the Kenyan people with joy, mercy, and tender compassion.  Their heroic example inspire in us the desire to be witnesses to the Gospel with courage and self-sacrifice.
  • Acts 2:1-11  At Pentecost, a noise like a strong wind filled the house, tongues as of fire rested on each apostle, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them.  Jews from every nation gathered but were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language.  They asked, “If they're all Galileans, how does each of us hear them in his native language?  We're from all over but hear them speaking in our own tongues of God's mighty acts.”
  • Ps 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34  "Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth."  Lord, my God, you and your works are great!  I will be glad in the Lord.
  • 1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13  There are different gifts but the same Spirit, different kinds of service but the same Lord, different workings but the same God who produces them.  To each person the Spirit is manifested for some benefit.  As a body is one though it has many parts, so also Christ.  For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, and we were all given one Spirit.
  • Gal 5:16-25  Live by the Spirit and you won't gratify the desire of the flesh; the flesh and the Spirit are opposed to each other.  The works of the flesh are obvious:  immorality, impurity, lust, idolatry, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, fury, selfishness, dissensions...; if you do such things, you won't inherit the kingdom.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  If you belong to Christ Jesus, you've crucified your flesh with its passions and desires.  Let us follow the Spirit.
  • Veni, Sancte Spiritus sequence:  see music above
  • Jn 20:19-23  Jesus came:  “Peace be with you....  As the Father has sent me, so I send you....  Receive the Holy Spirit.  Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them; whose sins you retain are retained.”
    • "Pentecost is a way of life"  —Msgr. Antonio Cacciapuoti, St. Bede pastor (tweetable)

    • Creighton:  In fear, Jesus' followers hid, awaiting cries for bloodshed; they felt they'd failed him.  But when the wind came, their spirits ignited, amazing words poured forth, and life displaced fear.  In misery, Jesus' companions clung to each other; God’s spirit made them one, and they received new life.  In desolation we're rigid and alone, but when we reach out, the spirit finds us, and the breath of life returns.  Intent on self-sufficiency, I can distance myself from sources of life.  Our world can separate us:  being consumed with career, school, disappointments, plans…, but in friendship, prayer, conversation, struggle for justice, and service, the notion that we're one body begins to ring true, and the spirit of unity surprises us....
    • One Bread One Body:  "Submarine":   We're baptized/immersed in the Spirit; we're under and stay under the waters.  It's a new life.  Ironically, being under the waters is the only way we can really breathe, but we're tempted to come up to breathe the polluted air of the world and the flesh, but we must resist the temptation and stay immersed.  Take the plunge!
    • Passionist:  We can't stay alive for more than three minutes without breathing!  We take about 16 breaths per minute, using about two gallons of air.  The Holy Spirit in Hebrew and Greek means 'wind' or 'breath.'  We depend on the Spirit like the air we breathe.  The Spirit is the “breath of life”!  The Spirit is the source of our spiritual life.  There are some 400 references to the Spirit in the New Testament.  In Greek the Spirit is called zōopoieō, 'life maker.'  May the “divine breath” recreate us in Christ's image.
      The Descent of the Holy Ghost/ Titian
    •  As Jesus was anointed with the Spirit at the beginning of his ministry, so too we need the Spirit to carry out the mission Jesus entrusts to us and to live in love, peace, and joy.  The Spirit helps us in our weakness and enables us to grow in freedom.
    St. Basil the Great on the Spirit's role in our lives:  "The Spirit restores paradise to us and the way to heaven and adoption as God's children; he instills confidence that we may call God Father and grants us grace to be children of the light and to enjoy eternal glory.  He bestows blessings in this world and the next; for we may contemplate now in faith the promised things we'll someday enjoy.  If this is the foretaste, what must the reality be?  If these are the first fruits, what must be the harvest?" (De Spiritu Sancto)
    • “Pentecost” comes from Greek πεντηκοστή (pentekoste), “fiftieth”; it's tied to the Jewish Feast of Weeks (Shavuot), 7 × 7 days (a 'week of weeks') after the 2nd day of Passover.  Passover celebrates the freeing of the Jews from slavery; Shavuot celebrates their becoming God’s holy people by receiving and accepting the Law; and the counting of the days symbolises yearning for the Law.  Shavuot, a pilgrimage festival, was a good time for the Spirit to come and inspire preaching to all nations.  Easter freed us from slavery; Pentecost gave us the Spirit to make us Church.

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