Let us begin by lighting a candle, making the sign of the Cross, quieting ourselves and welcoming God into the space where we dwell and into our mind and heart.
Play this Taizé chant to aid in coming into this space of prayer. Veni Sancte Spiritus – Come Holy Spirit
Read the following slowly and reflect on the words as you read and pray them.
Where the Spirit is there is creation and new life. Where the Spirit is, there is the living Christ. The Spirit is the breath of God’s creative love, so that whoever lives in the Spirit lives in the ever newness of God.Sr Ilia Delio OSF
You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, the LORD, am your God and there is no other. And my people shall never again be put to shame. Then afterwards I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.(Joel 2:27-29)
When Luke wants to give a context for the gift of the Spirit he finds it in the liturgy of the Jewish people. The Feast of Pentecost was celebrated 50 days after Passover and it marked the completion of God’s saving work in bringing the chosen people out of slavery in Egypt.
On Pentecost the Jews celebrate the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. This is the gift by which they entered into a covenant with their liberator God. This is the teaching that would form them into the people of God. Sadly, we translate this word as Law as if it were just about commandments – it is much more than that, it is a guide for life.
So now, when Luke wants to help his readers understand the gift of the Spirit and the birth of the new people of God living a new covenant he speaks of Pentecost. He depicts Peter in his great Pentecost speech quoting a dynamic and visionary text from the prophet Joel who dared to imagine a new day when God’s Spirit would be freely given to all.
The outpouring of the Spirit on all flesh points to a new creation when everyone is inspired to recognise that God is in their midst, that we are all invited to play our part in realising God’s dream for the world. Joel’s vision has come to pass through Jesus’ faithful proclamation of the Reign of God, his death and his resurrection. It is his Spirit that is poured out, this is the power from on high that he promised and it transforms our understanding of God and empowers us to live fully this Good News, the Gospel of the universal love of God.
In this time of pandemic when a spirit of fear and anxiety has seized the world let us join together on Pentecost invoking the Spirit of God and drawing inspiration from Pope Francis’ words when he describes beautifully the consequences of this Pentecost vision.:
“We love this beautiful planet on which God has put us, and we love the human family which dwells here, with all its tragedies and struggles, its hopes and aspirations, its strengths and weaknesses. The earth is our common home and all of us are brothers and sisters.”(Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel)
A Moment of Contemplation:
What word or phrase resonates with or challenges you?
What sensations do you notice in your body – as a reaction to what you have read?
What is the Spirit inviting you to do?
Bring this moment of contemplation to a close. Today we meditate upon the Holy Spirit as the Love of the Father and the Son. Read the prayer slowly and with attention to your breath.
Veni Sancte Spiritus!
Love of the Father, Love of God the Son,
from whom all came, in whom was all begun;
who formest heavenly beauty out of strife,
creation’s whole desire and breath of life:
Thou the all-holy, thou supreme in might,
thou dost give peace, thy presence maketh right;
thou with thy favour all things dost enfold,
with thine all-kindness free from harm wilt hold.
Hope of all comfort, splendour of all aid,
that dost not fail nor leave the heart afraid:
to all that cry thou dost all help accord,
the angels’ armour, and the saints’ reward.
Purest and highest, wisest and most just,
there is no truth save only in thy trust;
thou dost the mind from earthly dreams recall,
and bring, through Christ, to him for whom are all.
Eternal glory, all people thee adore,
who art and shalt be worshipped evermore:
us whom thou madest, comfort with thy might,
and lead us to enjoy thy heavenly light.
Allow a moment of quiet
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
End with playing this piece of music from Bernadette Farrell, Spirit of God
And we end – In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen