26 May 2012

27th May 2012 - Pentecost Sunday

On this weeks programme we are joined by Dom Patrick Hederman OSB, abbot of Glenstal Abbey to reflect on Pentecost which is celebrated today and brings to a close the Easter season. We have our regular reflection on the gospel of the day, saints of the up coming week and some local notices. You can listen to our podcast HERE.


Pentecost is the festival when Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is celebrated on the Sunday 50 days after Easter (the name comes from the Greek pentekoste, "fiftieth"). Pentecost is regarded as the birthday of the Christian church, and the start of the church's mission to the world.

Ten days after Jesus ascended into heaven, the twelve apostles, Jesus' mother and family, and many other of His disciples gathered together in Jerusalem for the Jewish harvest festival that was celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover. While they were indoors praying, a sound like that of a rushing wind filled the house and tongues of fire descended and rested over each of their heads. This was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on human flesh promised by God through the prophet Joel.

The disciples were suddenly empowered to proclaim the gospel of the risen Christ. They went out into the streets of Jerusalem and began preaching to the crowds gathered for the festival. Not only did the disciples preach with boldness and vigor, but by a miracle of the Holy Spirit they spoke in the native languages of the people present, many who had come from all corners of the Roman Empire. This created a sensation. The apostle Peter seized the moment and addressed the crowd, preaching to them about Jesus' death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins. The result was that about three thousand converts were baptized that day. (You can read the Biblical account of Pentecost in Acts 2:1-41).

On this weeks programme we are joined by Patrick Hederman OSB who is the abbot of Glenstal Abbey to reflect on the feast.

Dom Patrick takes us back to the Upper Room where the disciples and Mary were sheltering in fear. When the Spirit arrived, it went to each of them as a tongue of fire over their head and for each of us today, the Holy Spirit is hovering over us asking us for our permission to land and enter into our hearts and lives.

The Holy Spirit is often the most ignored person of the Trinity. It was necessary for Jesus to leave us, despite the fact that the disciples wanted to cling on to his human presence so that the Holy Spirit, the manifestation of the Divine Love could come to us. But it was not as if the Spirit was never there before, it was the Holy Spirit who brooded over the waters at Creation, it was the Holy Spirit who organised Christs arrival on earth and prepared  the womb of Mary at the Annunciation and the Holy Spirit who descended on Jesus at his baptism in the Jordan. It is almost as if the Holy Spirit was the director of the play in which Christ had the main part.

We have to really believe that the Spirit is in our hearts so that when we pray or want to pray, we dont have to make things us but rather we have to lower ourselves down into the conversation of love of the Trinity which are occurring all the time in our hearts so we can partake in the conversation of love.

Pentecost isnt just something that happened 2000 years ago. It is still happening today, the Spirit came on the disciples and then drove them out into the streets of Jerusalem and across the world to spread the mesage of the love of God. Are we listening personally to the Spirit, as a community are we in dialogue to discern what the Spirit is calling us as a community to do and finally are we open to going out and sharing with the world what the Spirit has shared with us all.

Podcast of the Pentecost Reflection extracted from the programme is available here.

Gospel - John 15: 26-27, 16:12-15

This weeks gospel is taken from the Discourse at the Last Supper and in some ways is almost a distraction from the account of the Descent of the Holy Spirit as recounted in the Acts of the Apostles which is the first reading of this Sunday.
But it challenges us to engage and reflect on this weeks gospel. It is a piece of scripture where we will have to read and reflect word by word so as to listen to what God is trying to tell us in this weeks scripture.

John tells us of the promise by Jesus of the presence of the Advocate to guide us in our lives and moments of trial. The Spirit is one who speaks for us when we cant speak for ourselves. She is a Counsellor, Friend, Comforter always their to support and console us.

Other reflections on this weeks gospel:
Liturgical Odds and Ends

Psalter - Week 4, 8th Week of Ordinary time

June is the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart.

June 1st is the First Friday.
Popes prayer intentions for the month of June

General Intention - That believers may recognise in the Eucharist the living presence of the Risen One who accompanies them in daily life.
Missionary Intention - That Christians in Europe may rediscover their true identity and participate with greater enthusiasm in the proclamation of the gospel.

Saints of the Week
May 28th - St Germanus of Paris
May 29th - St Maximus of Trier
May 30th - St Joan of Arc
May 31st - Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
June 1st - St Justin, martyr
June 2nd - Ss Marcellinus and Peter (martyrs)
June 3rd - In Ireland - feast of St Kevin. Universal Calendar - St Charles Lwanga & Companions (the Ugandan Martyrs). Neither is celebrated this year (except in Uganda for the martyrs) as the feasts fall on a Sunday.

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