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Come, Holy Spirit!

First 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 native language?
We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,
inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,
as well as travelers from Rome,
both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,
yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty acts of God.”

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34

R. (cf. 30) 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!
How manifold are your works, O LORD!
the earth is full of your creatures;
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD be glad in his works!
Pleasing to him be my theme;
I will be glad in the LORD.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
If you take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:3B-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.

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.
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.

Sequence – Veni, Sancte Spiritus

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.
You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;
In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!
Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend;
Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end. Amen.
Alleluia.

Gospel: John 20:19-23

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.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

NAB

may 15

Today we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. Today, Jesus pours out His Spirit upon us with the same power and dynamism in which He poured out His Spirit upon the apostles in the Upper Room. The Spirit may not take the visible form of tongues of fire above your head today, but He is ready to recreate you and renew the face of the earth with the same power of that first Pentecost.

Are you open to receive His Spirit?

I feel like sometimes we want to control the Spirit. We want God’s power in the way in which we want it to manifest. We may not be really receiving God’s life in us, but rather trying to force our ideas and plans onto God. Today in the Gospel, Jesus says, “Peace be with you . . . Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Nine days prior to Pentecost, the Apostles had witnessed Jesus ascend into Heaven. They did not know what would happen next. Jesus had said a lot of things and made a lot of promises, but it was unclear how all that would play out. After nine days of praying (the first “novena”),  Jesus sent His Holy Spirit as He had promised upon the Apostles in a way that the Apostles probably could have never imagined. Their lives were changed forever. The Church was born, and the Apostles, sent and empowered, went out proclaiming the truth of Jesus’ life and love.

The gift and power of the Spirit is available to each one of us. Let us live this life in the Spirit with the same power and dynamism of the Apostles! You might not be called to preach and be martyred in foreign countries, however, the Spirit can enflame and give life even to your most mundane daily responsibilities. May God pour His Spirit upon you and recreate you so that you may be inspired and renewed in Him to use your gifts to renew the face of the earth. Come, Holy Spirit!

(As members of the Church, each possessing different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit, I wish you all a very happy birthday!!)

Are you open to receive the Spirit in a new way today? If yes, then beg Him to come and fill you with His life. And remember, sometimes the Spirit prefers to powerfully come in still small whispers in your heart. Listen to Him, and let Him fill you with His life, peace and power.

photo credit

Mary Catherine Craige is a lover of creativity and learning new things. When she is not guiding the development of young children through Montessori methods, you can find her behind her harp, taking an art class, or writing. You can find out more about her here.

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