18 May 2013

19th May 2013 - Pentecost Sunday

On this weeks programme, John is joined by Fr Michael Liston to reflect on the great feast of Pentecost which draws the celebration of Easter to a close.

Michael Keating also makes a welcome return to the programme to join John for the reflection on the weekly gospel.

We have our regular review of the saints of the week and some other liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to the full programme podcast HERE

A Word with Fr Michael - Reflection on Pentecost

Fr Michael joins us this week to share a word about the feast of Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit on the church. Pentecost is seen as the end of the "joyful season" of Lent and Easter. It signfies the end of the Lords mission on earth. In some ways you could say that Easter is like the Munster final where Pentecost is the All-Ireland Final.

Pentecost is part of that great plan of God, the heart of God, to gather us all together. It is all one mystery of the Father's heart to gather us into one. For our human understanding, we have to take it piece by piece, - birth, death, Resurection, Ascension and the last piece is the sharing of the love of God in the Holy Spirit at Penteost.

The friends of Jesus were in the Upper Room with Mary praying. Before that they had been timid weak sinful human beings who had been through a lot and still didn't understand what had happened but now what a transformation! The Spirit which had raised up Jesus was now inside them and they went out - were driven out - to preach and share the great things they had seen with everyone they met no matter what. But we must remember that despite being filled with the Spirit, they are still a human community passing on that message from generation to generation. The Holy Spirit is still with us, it still gathers us into the family of God both past and present around the world and across time.

The Lord is looking at each of us and saying - if you only knew what God is offering. The Spirit is also there reminding us to pray for each other and to perservere in prayer. We need to be open to what the Spirit wants for us rather than what we think we want from the Spirit. The Spirit can come in many forms through friends and events that happens to us and for us to be open and aware of the movements of the "gentle breeze" of the Spirit in our lives.

Ultimately, Pentecost and the Spirit reminds us that we are to be freed to love again even though the work of the Spirit may feel harsh at times but to be open to that cleansing fire. And that ultimately we will have the courage to announce the gift of God in our own way.

Sequence of the Holy Spirit for Solemnity of Pentecost 

Holy Spirit, Lord of Light,
From the clear celestial height.
Thy pure beaming radiance give.
Come, thou Father of the poor,
Come, with treasures which endure;
Come, thou Light of all that live!
Thou, of all consolers best,
Thou, the soul's delightful guest,
Dost refreshing peace bestow.
Thou in toil art comfort sweet;
Pleasant coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.
Light immortal, Light divine,
Visit thou these hearts of thine,
And our inmost being fill.
If thou take thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay;
All his good is turned to ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour thy 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.
Thou, on us who evermore
Thee confess and thee adore,
With thy sevenfold gifts descend.
Give us comfort when we die;
Give us life with thee on high;
Give us joys that never end.
Amen. Alleluia.

You can listen to Fr Michaels reflection excerpted from the programme HERE. We would suggest that it is well worth a listen - both for the reflection for Pentecost but also for the sharing and reflection on the gift of First Communion and Confirmation which Fr Michael shares with us at the end.
Gospel - John 20:19-23

"On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.""
Michael Keating makes a welcome return to the programme this week to reflect with John on the gospel for Pentecost Sunday.
Other reflections on this weeks gospel:
Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy
Liturgical Odds and Ends
Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter Week III, Week 7 Ordinary Time 
As this Sunday marks the end of Eastertide, liturgically we return to Ordinary Time in the Church's calendar. For those of us who recite the Liturgy of the Hours the transition can be a bit "messy" when using the breviary but Daria Sockey over at the blog "Canticles and Coffee" has a guide to Avoiding Post Pentecost Breviary Trauma.

For anyone that would like to learn about the Liturgy of the Hours and how to begin using it Daria's blog provides a great introduction and guide especially for busy lay people who want to participate in this "official" prayer of the Church.
Saints of the Week
May 20th - St Bernadine of Siena (priest)
May 21st - Ss Christopher Megallanes and Companions (Mexican martyrs)
May 22nd - St Rita of Cascia (religious)
May 23rd - St John Baptist Rossi
May 24th - St Agatha Yi So-Sa
May 25th - St Bede the Venerable (priest and Doctor of the Church) also St Gregory VII (Pope) also St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi (virgin)

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