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PENTECOST SUNDAY

13th May 2016

Pentecost Sunday is often called the birthday of the Church.

For the ancient Israelites, Pentecost (meaning ‘fiftieth’) was a harvest festival celebrated fifty days after the harvesting of the first sheaf. When the Jerusalem temple was built, this harvest festival was transformed into a pilgrimage feast to celebrate the covenant that Israel had made with God on Mt Sinai. The Jews of the first century, including Christian Jews, celebrated the great pilgrimage feast of Pentecost. Several decades after the death of Jesus, the early Christians reflected on their origins and chose this feast to mark the birth of God’s new covenant with God’s people. (Veronica Lawson RSM PhD)

 

May the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
bring fire to the earth
so that the presence of God
may be seen
in a new light,
in new places,
in new ways.

 

May our own hearts
burst into flame
so that no obstacle,
no matter how great,
ever obstructs the message
of the God within each of us.

 

May we come to trust
the Word of God in our heart,
to speak it with courage,
to follow it faithfully
and to fan it to flame in others.

(Joan Chittister OSB)