St. Nicholas of Tolentino RC Church, Bristol invites us all to join them for their monthly Mass for members of the LGBTQ+ community, families, friends, and allies.
Reflections for Pentecost Sunday Year C
1st Reading from the Acts of the Apostles 2: 1-11.
Here we have the Spirit in Action with imagery and sound (mighty wind, tongues of fire). This takes us back to Jesus’ baptism in the Jordon, when the heavens opened, and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove and a voice was heard from heaven. This is the fulfilment; the work of God is being accomplished. The fire and mighty wind are symbols of what will be revealed in the rest of the Acts, the violent wind is blowing throughout the Acts, driving the story onwards, powerfully changing the lives of Saul and Peter, and the others pushing them to the ends of the earth, any opposition is overcome by the signs and wonders of healing that accompany the Gospel. The “Tongues of Fire”, represent the speeches that make up one third of the Acts. On this first Pentecost see how the gospel is preached to “all the world”, and how Stephen and Peter and Paul cannot be prevented from speaking of Jesus to those whom they meet. If you look at the map of the Middle East of that period, you will see how the places mentioned make a complete circle around it. So, it all began and continues to this day. We are celebrating the birth of the Missionary Church, which continues to spread the Good News of Jesus; it cannot be stopped, just like the wind that blows where it will, touching everything that it passes over.
Psalm 103: 1, 24, 29-31, 34.
A beautiful song in praise of God’s creation and the action of His Spirit in this great task. A reminder to us of the power of the Holy Spirit in the world.
2nd Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans 8: 8-17.
Paul gives us the choice between living by the desires of the body or taking on the Spirit and lifting ourselves out of a life leading to death, and taking on the Spirit of God, given to us at our Baptism, and that same Spirit will follow Christ where he has already gone, to eternal life with the Father. Paul also uses the Roman tradition of adoption, which enabled a person without natural heirs to adopt friend’s children or even slaves, so that his name and goods could be handed on, to illustrate just how we become adopted by the Father and thereby become brothers and sisters of Jesus and join with him in inheriting eternal life with the Father. So, Paul’s central theme of the Resurrection is thereby enabled, by the Spirit, to be extended to us, by adoption. Paul’s knowledge of the world in which he is moving enables him to communicate with those whom he meets on their own level. A real lesson for us in how we can also spread the good news to those we meet.
The Holy Gospel according to John 14: 15-16, 23-26.
This section brings together a beautiful collection of sayings of Jesus, and only occur in John’s Gospel. Love is central to Jesus’ new Gospel, disciples must love each other and so be loved by the Father, and we achieve this by keeping his commandments, or following his Way. Then this beautiful phrase “If anyone loves me, he(she) will keep my word, and my Father will love him(her), and we shall come to him(her) and make our home with him(her).” What a wonderful prospect for us to ponder at this great feast. Father and Son making their home with us, if we obey the Spirit and keep His Word. What a glorious way to end Eastertide.
God Bless us all & bring us to everlasting life. Amen, Alleluia. Deacon Vincent.
Image by Kiều Trường from Pixabay