Gospel Reflection for Sunday the 28th of May 2023
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Today, the Solemnity of Pentecost, we recall the Holy Spirit making Jesus’ disciples “amazed & afraid.” Pentecost celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ Apostles, ending 50 days of Eastertide. God’s Holy Spirit strengthens us with grace to draw us closer to The Most Holy Trinity.
The last lines of the Sequence of Pentecost are very reaffirming: “Give us comfort when we die. Give us life with them on high. Give us joys that never end.” This is our hope in shared eternal life. Our faith is saturated with references to eternal life.
Jesus in today’s profound gospel tells us to: “receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.” St Isidore of Seville declared that: “Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin, all hope consists in confession: in confession there is a chance for mercy. We forgive people who wronged us in life. We love God in them.
In our first reading, the Holy Spirit is poured out upon Mary and the Apostles. The Spirit seals the new law and new covenant brought by Jesus, is written not on stone tablets but on the hearts of believers, as the prophets promised. St Thomas Aquinas said that the Holy Spirit interiorly perfects our spirit. O Holy Spirit, we invite You into our souls: we surrender to Your divine promptings.
The Spirit is revealed as the life-giving breath of the Father, the Wisdom by which He made all things, as we sing in today’s Psalm. In the beginning, the Spirit came as a “mighty wind” sweeping over the face of the earth (we read in Genesis 1:2). And in the new creation of Pentecost, the Spirit again comes as “a strong, driving wind” to renew the face of the earth. The Holy Spirit is to invited to form our conscience for God.
This renewal involves us inviting God into our lives. Through prayerful reflection we receive and rest with God’s Spirit, and try to radiate and share God’s Spirit among others.” “You will know them by their fruits” Jesus declared in Matthew 7:20. May we all be faithful to God & beautifully blossom wherever we are planted in life. May must help, guide and strengthen one another in our faith, no matter what the cost!
Pope Francis tells us that: “the family is like a factory of hope.” May all our families be lovingly united with one another in their service to God. Our acts of charity are the good deeds that go before us. We must not get lax, lazy, or lukewarm in terms of our doing the will of God.
The Holy Eucharist is our food that sanctifies our souls through grace. The Most Holy Eucharist nourishes, sustains, and ignites the divine life within us. The Eucharist is the true presence of Jesus Christ: body, blood, soul & divinity. A priest when offering the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass makes present Christ’s crucified & resurrected body. On my priestly ordination card, I had St Augustine’s prayer to the Holy Spirit.
Here it is:
Breath into me, Holy Spirit ~ that my thoughts may all be holy.
Move in me, Holy Spirit ~ that my work, too, may be holy.
Attract my heart Holy Spirit ~ that I love only what is holy.
Strengthen me Holy Spirit ~ that I may defend all that is holy.
Protect me Holy Spirit ~ that I may always be holy, Amen.
-Fr Fergal Cummins CC