Body and Blood of Christ

Lectio

Drinking Well

Pentecost

A Powerful Wind Blowing

T

he disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.  As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’ After saying this he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’

 
                                                                                                   John 15: 1-4; 13-15

 

Lectio

When Pentecost day came round, they had all met together, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift off speech. Acts 2:1-4

I invite you to recall a time you have seen the Holy Spirit at work. It may have been in your own life, in the lives of other people or in events in the wider world. Sometimes the Spirit is like a powerful wind blowing; more often that same Spirit is much quieter, like a breath.

The Holy Spirit breathes courage into people. You may remember a time when you found courage to face a difficult situation that seemed way beyond your strength. You may have faced an illness or coped with a loss, or you had to take a stand for what was right and oppose someone who was clearly in the wrong. You may look back now and say, ‘That was the Holy Spirit at work.’

Religious experience
You may remember a religious experience you have had: a time of deep peace when you felt that God was there with you and caring for you; or the joy you felt when you received God’s forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation. Many people in the charismatic renewal movement since the 1970’s have had a deep experience of God’s personal love for them. Whenever we have a genuine religious experience, there is the Holy Spirit at work.

Pope John Paul II said that even though we cannot see the Holy Spirit, we sometimes see such goodness and holiness in people that we know the Holy Spirit must be at work in their lives: it may be in their great generosity, in their patience and endurance, in their honesty and integrity, or in their faithfulness to prayer. St. Paul tells us that the Spirit is at work in all sorts of different ways in different people but always for a good purpose; he inspires them to use their gifts in the service of others.

Fills the whole world
The Book of Wisdom goes further and says that the Spirit of God fills the whole world. We can expect to see the Spirit at work not only in individuals but also in families, communities, in the Church and in every corner of the world, and not only like a breath but with the force of a mighty wind. When there is a serious problem facing our world, the Holy Spirit stirs people to do what needs to be done. We may see the Spirit at work as more and more people become aware of the damage we are doing to the environment, and are moved to play their part in limiting that damage. The Spirit continues to blow in our world to inspire people to abolish world hunger and world poverty, and to cherish every human life from conception to death, and to deliver women and children from the crimes of human trafficking and paedophilia. In 2002 the leaders of the major world religions met in Assisi and agreed that religion must never again be used as a reason to go to war.

The Spirit breathes in his Church to draw people to holiness. When the Spirit came at the first Pentecost, all the people came together. In the past century Christians of different denominations have begun to work together to restore unity to the Church; The Spirit will always be there as breath and as mighty wind.

Brendan Clifford

 

Prayer to the Holy Spirit.
Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
enlighten our minds to perceive the mysteries of the universe in relation to eternity. Spirit of right judgment and courage,
guide us and make us firm in our baptismal decision to follow Jesus' way of love. Spirit of knowledge and reverence, help us to see the lasting value of justice and mercy in our dealings with one another. May we respect life as we work to solve problems of family and nation, economy and ecology. Spirit of God, spark our faith, hope and love into new action each day.
Fill our lives with wonder and awe in your presence which penetrates all creation.

Amen

   

 

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