Preparing for Pentecost
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Resources to help prepare for Pentecost Sunday
Fr. Paul’s bulletin letter to Parishioners, Pentecost, May 31, 2020
Today is the fiftieth, and final, day of the Easter Season. The new life of Easter is reflected in our springtime; Pentecost signals the fullness of life that we see as summer arrives. In the Eastern Churches, the liturgical color of Pentecost is green, honoring the Holy Spirit as Lord and Giver of Life. Appropriately, our liturgy prescribes green vestments for most of the year; the Gift of the Holy Spirit is for more than one day.
Pentecost is sometimes called “the birthday of the Church.” The feasts of Ascension and Pentecost are a complement to the winter celebrations of our Lord’s Birth. At Christmas, we proclaim the mystery of the Incarnation: by the power of the Holy Spirit, and through Mary’s consent, the divine Word became human and lived among us. Today, by the power of the same Holy Spirit, and our profession of faith, we human beings become sharers in the divine life of the Holy Trinity. Pentecost proclaims the mystery of our divinization. We, the Church, are born anew, born from above, to be a holy people, “saints among the saints” as one of the Eucharistic prayers says.
When Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit appeared in the form of a dove. On this day, the Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of fire. As the disciples received the Spirit, they received the gifts of tongues. I wrote “gifts” because these “tongues” can be understood in different ways. At the first Pentecost, we are told that the Spirit-filled words of the apostles could be understood by people from all over the known world. Later, we read how people received the Holy Spirit, and then began to “speak in tongues,” a kind of jubilant expression of praise and thanks to God. Whereas language is often a source of misunderstanding and division (as in the story of the Tower of Babel, Gen. 11) the language of the Spirit brings a new unity among believers. Whether through understanding the message of the Gospel in one’s own culture, or whether our common praise and gratitude transcends human boundaries, the Gift of the Holy Spirit bears fruit in unity.
Come, Holy Spirit: enlighten us! empower us! anoint us!
Catholic Renewal Center Archdiocese of St. Louis YouTube channel:
Here you will find daily videos for the Pentecost Novena, 2021 (May 14 - 22), and
Recordings from the Revive All Revival presentations of Desire the Gifts – Live the Fruits, nine weekly videos.
A sequence is a hymn added to the Liturgy of the Word on special days throughout the year.
Other homilies (click “homilies” on left menu, then choose a year to see a list of published homilies): https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en.html