May 27, 2007
Pentecost Sunday
Mass during the Day

Reading 1
Acts 2:1-11

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem .
At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused
because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome,
both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty acts of God.”

When the Apostles witnessed Christ’s ascension into heaven on a cloud, they were ambivalent, sorrowful to see Him go, yet grateful for their singular experience; they were elated at the privilege given them by God. They were positive His words of consolation would be fulfilled but they were aware they would be the target of persecution by the authorities who perpetrated the unjustified death of their friend and Lord. So, they clambered to the Upper Room and remained there in hiding for fear they also might be arrested for sedition and perhaps suffer the same indignities their Lord and Master had undergone.
The Jewish feast day of Pentecost was at hand for the celebration of the Barley Harvest.  Jews from every corner of the earth were gathered to attend the festivities. It was then, a strong wind (Ruah) encompassed the room where they were hiding and from the wind, a tongue of flame came to rest on each of those present, including Jesus’ Mother. The Spirit(Ruah) overwhelmed them and they couldn’t hold in their thoughts. They rushed into the streets among the pilgrims and began speaking to them of Christ’s death, resurrection and Ascension. There were people from many known places in the world; however, they heard the message in their own language. This exercise was to reverse the effect of the Babel incident whereby God had confused the language of the Babel people who were trying to make a name for themselves.
To emphasize the uniqueness of this event, Luke included Medes, Parathians and Elamites in the group of worshippers there for the feast. Be aware these people were annihilated as a nationality during the conquest of Alexander the Great in the 3rd Century BC. The intent of the inclusive stanza was to show all nations past present and future were the recipients of Christ’s salvation.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34

R. (cf. 30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD, my God, you are great indeed! How manifold are your works, O LORD! the earth is full of your creatures;
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD be glad in his works!
Pleasing to him is my theme; I will be glad in the LORD.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
If you take away their breath, they perish and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

Had the Psalmist known of the future, he could have written this Psalm as the herald of Christ and the Spirit. There was no physical reconstruction of the world. However, spritually the world would never be the same. We who rely on the Church for our path to salvation, know well the obstacles placed in our way. So we cry out.”Lord send out your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth.”

Reading II
1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13

Brothers and sisters :No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;  there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.
As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.
Paul uses our bodies as a metaphor of life and of people in general. We are part of the Body of Christ. Therefore, none of us is expendable and we are of ineffable value as brothers and sisters of Christ. None is expendable including those lying in wait to be born. So, we become part of His Body as we gather together at the Sacrifice of the Mass to remember His charge to the Apostles and us to make reparation for our sins and the sins of the world.
Rom 8:8-17

Brothers and sisters: Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit that dwells in you. Consequently, brothers and sisters, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you  received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, “Abba, Father!”
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs,
heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
The Spirit is implanted in our hearts at Baptism and certified at our Confirmation. As we wend our way through life we will encounter a myriad of temptations. The Holy Spirit’s gifts will sustain us in these difficult times, if, we rely on His graciousness to all who call on Him. This doesn’t mean we have to always be imploring Him for help but we must be receptive of the gifts as we would from a friend whom we love.

Gospel
Jn 20:19-23

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
The experience of the Disciples after Christ’s improbable Resurrection conferred on them the right and duty to act in Christ’s stead when He was taken into Heaven. They were to judge the tribes of Israel and the generations to follow and forgive the sins committed as much as 7 X 70 and more. The Sacrament of Penance, thereby instituted, confirms our practice of confessing our faults to our Priests and receiving absolution rendering our souls clean of potential infirmities.

Jn 14:15-16, 23b-26

Jesus said to his disciples “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always. “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Those who do not love me do not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me. “I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”
 

In this discourse Christ establishes the principle of One God in the Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When we obey Christ’s dictum perpetuated by our Church, we become His proclaimers to all who would listen. Our ministry includes the Priestly evangelization of those we encounter on our own way to eternal life with Christ. Not many of us take this obligation seriously. Be the first in your community!
 

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