"The Holy Spirit will teach you..."
You have reached the website of
Thanks for coming to my web page. I hope you will find something of interest here. Let me know what you think. This is a blog in some respects. I am always happy to hear your responses as well.
Prayer for Pentecost:
O God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
+ + + + + + +
Theme: “The Holy Spirit will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.” (Jn 14:25)
What actually happened on that day, fifty days after the Passover, when the apostles, certain women, and the brothers of Jesus were gathered “together in one place,” and experienced in a powerful manner the presence and power of the Spirit of God? Luke describes their experience in a highly stylized manner in the reading from the Acts of the Apostles which we just heard. What happened, and more importantly, what does that mean for us today in Southwest Michigan in these opening years of the 21st century?
First Luke’s stylized account: The details are best left to Bible study, but as part of your homework, re-read Chapter 11 of the book of Genesis on your insert. There, again in mythical language, the author describes how it came to be that there were people scattered throughout the world, each with a different language. It happened because of their intent to build a tower that would scale the vault of heaven and allow them to become like gods. “So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city” (Gen 11:8). We speak of this narrative as the tower of Babel, and it shows when people decide to become like god, they speak different languages and strive to assert their power over others who are no longer like themselves.
Then recall Chapter 3 of the prophet Joel who tells us that on the day of the Lord, when God would act definitively within human history to set his people back on track toward the wellbeing he intended for them, Joel says, speaking for the Lord, “I will pour my spirit on all mankind. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on my slaves, men and women, in those days, I will pour out my spirit” (Joel 3:1-5).
Peter, as we just heard in the reading from the Acts of the Apostles, quoted this prophesy from Joel when he went out and addressed the crowd that had gathered. He tells them excitedly that God has begun the process of restoring humanity through the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus back to the path that God intends them to walk on toward the fullness of life God has promised from the beginning before human sin took over.
Listening to the enthusiastic speech of Peter, the crowd exclaims: “What does this mean?” and they further ask how is it that each can hear what Peter and the apostles are proclaiming even in their own language (Acts 2:11-12).
Pentecost ends the fifty day period we call Eastertide in the Church year calendar. Christians crated the Church year to help disciples comprehend the profound and powerful mystery of what God has done, is doing and will do in and through the life, death, resurrection and glorification of Jesus of Nazareth. What is called the Paschal Mystery. Like sides on a great diamond, each season of the Church year presents us with a dimension of that reality. Each Sunday in a season is like a cut on that side of the diamond. Eastertide, which just finished, emphasized how we experience the reality of the power and presence of the risen Lord in our lives today. We heard that we discover the presence and power of the risen Lord in forgiveness, in the breaking of the bread, in shepherding, in being an integral part of the Christian community, that is, linked to the vine like one of the branches; and so forth.
[Book Sale: Joseph has some 250 books for sale on Amazon. Check at www.amazon.com/shops/kairosnews ]
[Photobooks published by Fr. Joseph Clayton Neiman. To see some pages or to order copies, click on picture which will take you to www.blurb.com.]