Saturday, June 07, 2014
Pentecost Sunday, Solemnity
Pentecost Sunday, Solemnity
Vigil: Gen 11: 1-9 or Ex 19: 3-8a, 16-20b or Ez 37: 1-4 or Jl 3: 1-5/ Ps 104: 1-2, 24, 35, 27-28, 29, 30/ Rom 8: 22-27/ Jn 7: 37-39;
Day: Acts 2: 1-11/ Ps 104: 1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34/ 1 Cor 12: 3b-7, 12-13/ Jn 20: 19-23
First Reading: Acts 2: 1-11
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. And suddenly out of the sky came a sound like a strong rushing wind and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. There appeared tongues as if of fire which parted and came to rest upon each one of them. All were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak. Staying in Jerusalem were religious Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered, all excited because each heard them speaking in his own language. Full of amazement and wonder, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? How is it that we hear them in our own native language? Here are Parthians, Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and foreigners who accept Jewish beliefs, Cretians and Arabians.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12: 3b-7, 12-13
No one can say, "Jesus is the Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. There is diversity of gifts, but the Spirit is the same. There is diversity of ministries, but the Lord is the same. There is diversity of works, but the same God works in all. The Spirit reveals his presence in each one with a gift that is also a service. As the body is one, having many members, and all the members, while being many, form one body, so it is with Christ. All of us, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, have been baptized in one Spirit to form one body and all of us have been given to drink from the one Spirit.
Gospel: John 20:19-23
On the evening of that day, the first day after the Sabbath, the doors were locked where the disciples were, because of their fear of the Jews, but Jesus came and stood in their midst. He said to them, "Peace be with you"; then he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples kept looking at the Lord and were full of joy. Again Jesus said to them, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." After saying this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit; for those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained."
The Solemnity of the Pentecost marks the end of the Easter Season paving the way for the ordinary time in the Liturgical Season of the Church. There are two reasons why the celebration of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles remains significant today. First, it is a fulfillment of the promise of Jesus that his and the Father's Spirit shall be sent to the apostles and eventually to us. Moreover, the Spirit will be the one to guide and give us courage to continue the mission of Jesus.
Promises are very important to us. We promise many things in life but more importantly when we make permanent commitments in life like marriage, religious life, and priesthood. Sad to say, we know that some promises are eventually broken especially when we believe that it is only because of our efforts that promises are fulfilled. Instead, we realize that whatever promises we make, especially those that are seen as a life commitment, can only be fulfilled with the help of the Holy Spirit. It is because the Holy Spirit has no other agenda except to lead us to the good who is none other than Jesus. At times, the problem lies in our inability to discern the promptings of the Spirit and thus, we end up reneging on our earlier commitments.
Equally important in Pentecost is the courage that the Spirit can give us if we are open and generous enough to receive the Spirit in our life. Just look at what happened to the apostles. They all fled from Jesus during his passion for fear of their lives. But upon the descent of the Spirit of Jesus onto them, these fearful apostles were gradually transformed. If before they were cowed by the religious authorities, with the Holy Spirit, they became confident in the mission given to them by Jesus. They felt joy amid their suffering in fulfillment of what Jesus said regarding the difficulties his apostles would have to endure. The final indication of their courage was evident in the kind of death they suffered. Except for John, the apostles died a martyr's death. Their self-offering as inspired by the Holy Spirit assured them that following the will of Jesus was more important than their lives. They have been amply rewarded as they are now citizens of heaven and thereby, serve as our intercessors to the Lord who is both risen and ascended.
On this great feast of Pentecost, may we truly welcome the Holy Spirit in our lives and see our great transformation, something that we probably never imagined could happen to us. We may, then, end with this Pentecost prayer:
Spirit of Christ, stir us;
Spirit of Christ, move us;
Spirit of Christ, fill us;
Spirit of Christ, seal us.
Consecrate in us Your Heart and Will, O Heavenly Father.
Create in us a fountain of virtues.
Seal our souls as Your own, that Your reflection in us may be a light for all to see. Amen.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... 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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