Homily Starter: Pentecost-Bridget Mary Meehan
Pentecost is one of my favorite feasts in the church’s year. I love the images of tongues of fire and a big wind blowing, a large, diverse crowd where everyone listens and understands at the same time. Now that is some explosion of grace!
“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” Yet, the large crowd who heard the message understood them.
Originally, Pentecost celebrated an ancient feast of spring harvest when the Israelites gave thanks for the first fruits of their crops as they recalled God’s giving of the Torah and their Covenant renewal. (Exodus 23:14-17)
“The Acts story itself evokes the driving wind of creation, that again visited those first broken and frightened Christians,” writes Deb Organ, “carrying on its heels the impossible reality of God’s Spirit inaugurating a whole new order of existence. It was amazing! Fire and wind brought a word that came from beyond the fear, beyond the gaps that separated those ancient people. Many of them could listen to one another for the first time.” (Catholic Women Preach, Pentecost, Deb Organ, May 20, 201),
Yet today there are so many divisions that separate us from one another along every line racial, gender, political national, international etc. In the interest of full disclosure, there is one station that express views that I disagree with that I do not watch! (Surprise, surprise, I bet you can guess!)
As we contemplate the meaning of Pentecost in our lives, let us take a few minutes of prayerful reflection before our shared homily.
Let us begin by getting in touch with our breath and the Spirit that dwells within each of us…
Like Jesus, you are the face of God. Give thanks for gifts of the Spirit that you have been given to build community and bless others…
Now, open your heart to ways you may be called to stretch further than you are comfortable with to promote deeper understanding in your relationships and world…
Share a gift of the Spirit that you are grateful for as you live your call to be the face of God in our world.
How can we move beyond what separates us to deeper understanding and a greater inclusivity, diversity and unity in our relationships and work for justice and equality in our church and world?