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Scripture Reflections - June 9
Pentecost Sunday


READINGS
Micah 5:1-4a
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-45


Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

Today, Pentecost Sunday, marks the beginning of the Church. Throughout his ministry in Palestine, Jesus spoke a number of times about this Holy Spirit. He referred to the Spirit as “the Paraclete,” and “the Advocate.” At his first appearance to all the Apostles after the Resurrection, he actually bestowed on them this Spirit, along with the power to forgive sins. Nevertheless, their full transformation came publicly before hundreds of Jews, gathered for their feast, as well as many of mixed nationality passing through.

Try to imagine their experience of that first Pentecost when the Upper Room in Jerusalem shook with hurricane force as the wind of God‘s Spirit and the fire of His love descended upon these twelve apostles, changing them forever. They rushed out into the streets and boldly proclaimed the truth of Christ’s life, death and resurrection. As thousands were baptized that day, the Church was born in the presence of Christ’s own mother and countless other witnesses.

Our second reading today explains the effects of that fiery force. The Spirit shows itself in many diverse gifts that are shown forth then and today in those who are teachers, healers, prophets, preachers and administrators. As the God of Love, this Holy Spirit also endows us with the strength to heal jealousies and divisions caused by these gifts. He brings to the Church the gift of forgiveness and peace.

Today, we invoke the Spirit to intensify in us His gifts of joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are the gifts that help us in these very troublesome times to renew the Church, making it a strong and welcoming presence, enticing unbelievers to swell the ranks of the children of God, helping to conquer the forces of evil that threaten the faithful as well as our very civilization.
May the light of the Spirit enlighten with truth the falsehoods of Satan. May His fire be rekindled in all of us, overcoming our indifference and reluctance to live fearlessly as disciples of Christ in the world.

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