LITURGY IN FOCUS

CALL TO WORSHIP

The Solemnity of Pentecost

Today we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost. The gift of the Spirit, given to the Apostles, empowered them to re-create the world with faith and energy. God has given us this very same Spirit.

  • To the point: “If you love me.” “Whoever loves me.” Our love is always a free choice and, as human beings, we are never quite sure of our choices. God’s love, on the other hand, is sure and steady. God continually sends the Spirit to dwell within us. This indwelling Spirit empowers us to love with God’s steadfastness. Transformed by the Spirit, our love moves from “if” to “I can, I choose, I will.
  • Connecting the Gospel (John 20: 19-23) to the second reading: St. Paul enumerates the effects of the Spirit’s dwelling within us: we belong to Christ, are made righteous, are given new life, become adopted children and heirs of God. Here is God’s gift of Love to us: an unprecedented relationship made possible by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: It is so much easier to act with love when we know we are loved. We can act with love in all times and places, all situations and circumstances, because we know we are filled with the Spirit who is God’s love.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(John 20: 19-23 or John 15: 26-27, 16: 12-15)

And when he has said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Fear locked the door. It always loves to do this.
But real love entered in anyway,
bringing (within its wounds) God’s peace.
He breathed upon them and sent them
everywhere, to all the Earth, out of love, not out of fear
God, remember us. Veni Sancte Spiritus.
Come Holy Spirit of life and love
to us and send us out to all corners of creation.

The First Reading

(Acts 2:1-11 or Genesis 11:1-9 or Exodus 19:3-8a, 16-20b
or Ezekiel 37:1-14 or Joel 3:1-5)

And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind.

Blazing like a wind-driven fire you flash through all creation.
You are far and near. Not just in one place and time,
But everywhere. We welcome your Spirit in us
set a fire in our hearts in every minute of every day.
Make us fierce and send us to the ends of the Earth.

The Second Reading

(1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13 or Romans 8:8-17 or Romans 8:22-27)

 We do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself
intercedes with inexpressible groanings.

Spirit of Jesus, You know our needs.
We crave clean air, ceasing of hunger
an end to bias, no more war
and your love of each of us. Take our flawed prayers to the Father.
Wrap your prayers around them. Let our spirits cry out
in joyful harmony with you, in these words: Abba, Father!

Copyright © 2024, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection