Saturday, June 03, 2006
June 4, 2006
Pentecost Sunday - B
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."
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
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."
The Feast of the Pentecost, which we celebrate today, marks the moment
when God began to dwell among his people in a totally new form. But
Pentecost marks more than the change in the form of God's presence
among us. He now resides among us, not as someone dwelling alongside
us, but as someone dwelling inside us.
The personal experience of Leonard LeSourd, former editor of Guideposts
magazine illustrates what we mean. LeSourd explains that he knew five
Christs in the course of his lifetime. He first met Jesus in a Sunday
school. His introduction to Jesus came in the form of a stern-looking
person. This Jesus failed to impress a nine year old, who was more
interested in playing basketball than he was in learning about a man
who lived 2,000 years ago.
LeSourd met his second Christ in college. This was the Christ of
history. It was the Christ, whose impact on history has been so immense
that even non-Christians call him "history's greatest person." But the
historical Christ didn't touch him personally. He was just another
great man. "Putting Christ in this setting," he says, "was a simple
solution during college and four years as an Army Air Corps pilot. The
historical Jesus did not interfere with anything I wanted to do."
LeSourd met his third Christ after completing his military service. He
got a job with Guideposts magazine interviewing people about their
faith. In the course of doing the interviews, he was surprised to learn
that many successful people lived their lives by the teachings of
Jesus. Soon he found himself reading the Gospels to learn more about
these teachings. And thus he met his third Christ: the "teacher
LeSourd met his fourth Christ while on retreat. The theme of the
retreat was commitment to Jesus. During the retreat, a young man got up
and told others how he had gone into the chapel, knelt down, and
committed his life to Jesus.
LeSourd found himself wanting what that young man had found in the
chapel. So before the retreat ended, LeSourd went into the chapel,
knelt down, and committed his life to Jesus. He recalls the
unforgettable moment this way: "I found myself in this chapel, on my
knees before the altar, saying a simple prayer, 'Lord, I don't know how
I happen to be here, but I want to give my life to you. I do so now.'"
And so LeSourd met his fourth Christ. It was the "Savior Christ." It
was the Christ who loved him in a deep personal way. From that day on,
Jesus became the center and focus of his life.
This brings us to the fifth and final Christ. One day LeSourd found
himself being severely tempted, LeSourd felt himself falling. He
reached out frantically for something to hold on to. He found it in the
commitment he had made to Jesus years before during the retreat. He
found something more. He found his most meaningful relationship yet
with Jesus. It was contact with the "indwelling Christ." It was contact
with the Risen Christ, who began to dwell in his followers, when the
Holy Spirit descended upon them on Pentecost Sunday over 2,000 years
This brings us to another important point about Pentecost. Besides
being the birthday of God's new presence among us individually, it is
also the birthday of God's new presence among us collectively. Because
Jesus dwells inside us, we are united with him in a new way. Jesus said
in his farewell talk to his disciples, "On that day [when the Holy
Spirit comes] you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me
and I in you."
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the speedy recovery of Cadio.
- for the speedy recovery of Aida.
- for the complete healing of Elvie Lazaga
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Nellie Tan. Eternal rest
grant unto her and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she and
all the souls of the dearly departed rest in peace.
- for the personal intentions of Stephen.
- for the special intentions of Ding, Gerard, and Ricky
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Normita Siaco
- In Memoriam (+): Ramona Chua Hwan (Nov 2, 1955 - Jun 3, 2005)
- In Memoriam (+): Ma. Estela M. Layug
- In Memoriam (+): Henry Lee
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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