Fr. David's sermon
15th May 2005
Ours is an age of instant news. 24 hours news channels, repeat the latest stories over & over again. The pictures are immediate but the accompanying commentary is often banal and lacking in depth. If we want more considered reflection on and interpretation of the events behind the headlines then we have to turn to the radio and the quality press.
It's a bit like that with today's Pentecost readings. Luke in Acts captures all the excitement of the Pentecost moment with the sound like a rushing wind, with the tongues of fire and with apparently drunk disciples rushing out speaking in tongues to the bemusement and astonishment of the Jerusalem crowds. It is true that Luke refers to the prophecy of Joel to give some explanation as to what was taking place but the whole at this point he is thin on interpretation. It reads like an instant news story without much reflection.
Of course the rest of Acts with its story of the expansion of the young missionary church helps to understand what it all means. For now there is only bewilderment, amazement & astonishment.
St. John as always takes a different approach. He has deep reflection with fewer headlines grabbing excitement. He places the coming of the Holy Spirit in the different context of the appearance of the Risen Lord to the disciples on the eve of the first Easter Day. As we read his account we discover the significance of the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church. We can pick out six points.
Today, the day of Pentecost, we rejoice in the gift of God's Holy Spirit. We can ask not to lose the sense of the excitement of the first day of Pentecost as recorded by Luke. We can also seek with St John that greater understanding of what the gift means to us. As we become more aware of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives so we find our fear melts away to be replaced by deep inner joy and peace. In a wounded and suffering world we can recognise the authenticating wounds of Christ. We then find ourselves sent out, commissioned as ministers of reconciliation and absolution, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
O Holy Ghost
giver of light and life;
Impart to us thoughts higher than our own thoughts,
and prayers better than our own prayers,
and powers beyond our own powers;
that we may spend and be spent
in the ways of love and goodness,
after the perfect image
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
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Comments about this site or problems? Contact Webmaster (Colin Richards) at email@example.com Last updated 15/05/2005 09:00 Author: David Shepherd