The Solemnity of Pentecost

Call to worship

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

  • To the point: One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is peace. This peace is not a passive state of tranquility, but an empowering force that allays our fears, urges us forth to take up Jesus’ mission, and instills in us forgiving hearts. This peace transforms how we see ourselves, how we pursue discipleship, and how we relate to the world and one another. Certainly, this peace is life encompassing and enduring. How much more so is Jesus’ gift of the Holy Spirit!
  • Connecting the Gospel (Jn 20-19-23) to the second reading: The Second Reading alludes to the same empowering force as does the gospel: the Spirit bestows “spiritual gifts,” calls us to “different forms of service,” and manifests “different workings” such as forgiveness. All this for the benefit of the Body of Christ.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: We often think Jesus’ mission is given only to professional parish staff and other church ministers. All of us are called, however, to take up the mission of Jesus because of the Holy Spirit given to us at our baptism.

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.”

Fiery Spirit of Love, O Father of the Poor,
Warmth in a Land of Chill,
Comforter of all of us: rich, poor,
prisoners of global violence,
breathe your life into our dying hearts and souls.
Now, more than ever we need you to bestow upon us
knowledge, wisdom, understanding, courage.
Please send us out to the whole Earth.
Let your fire smoldering in us light up all on our path.
We know that you hear us
“because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast
and with ah! bright wings.” *

*G.M. Hopkins

The First Reading

(Acts 2:1-11 // 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.

As fire surges in the wind, you blow through
all creation. Not just the upper room,
in one place and time, but everywhere.
Come, O Spirit, set our hearts on fire
every minute of every day.
Let us spread your grace filled gifts
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 prayers.
Take our shoddy breaths to the Father.
Let our spirits cry out in joyful harmony
with you, in these words: Abba, Father!

Copyright © 2022, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection