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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 05-26-12, Pentecost Sunday at the Vigil
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 05-26-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 05/26/2012 1:35:39 PM PDT by Salvation

May 26, 2012

Pentecost Sunday at the Vigil 

 

Reading 1 Gn 11:1-9

The whole world spoke the same language, using the same words.
While the people were migrating in the east,
they came upon a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there.
They said to one another,
"Come, let us mold bricks and harden them with fire."
They used bricks for stone, and bitumen for mortar.
Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city
and a tower with its top in the sky,
and so make a name for ourselves;
otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth."

The LORD came down to see the city and the tower
that the people had built.
Then the LORD said: "If now, while they are one people,
all speaking the same language,
they have started to do this,
nothing will later stop them from doing whatever they presume to do.
Let us then go down there and confuse their language,
so that one will not understand what another says."
Thus the LORD scattered them from there all over the earth,
and they stopped building the city.
That is why it was called Babel,
because there the LORD confused the speech of all the world.
It was from that place that he scattered them all over the earth.

or Ex 19:3-8a, 16-20b

Moses went up the mountain to God.
Then the LORD called to him and said,
"Thus shall you say to the house of Jacob;
tell the Israelites:
You have seen for yourselves how I treated the Egyptians
and how I bore you up on eagle wings
and brought you here to myself.
Therefore, if you hearken to my voice and keep my covenant,
you shall be my special possession,
dearer to me than all other people,
though all the earth is mine.
You shall be to me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.
That is what you must tell the Israelites."
So Moses went and summoned the elders of the people.
When he set before them
all that the LORD had ordered him to tell them,
the people all answered together,
"Everything the LORD has said, we will do."

On the morning of the third day
there were peals of thunder and lightning,
and a heavy cloud over the mountain,
and a very loud trumpet blast,
so that all the people in the camp trembled.
But Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God,
and they stationed themselves at the foot of the mountain.
Mount Sinai was all wrapped in smoke,
for the LORD came down upon it in fire.
The smoke rose from it as though from a furnace,
and the whole mountain trembled violently.
The trumpet blast grew louder and louder, while Moses was speaking,
and God answering him with thunder.

When the LORD came down to the top of Mount Sinai,
he summoned Moses to the top of the mountain.

or Ez 37:1-14

The hand of the LORD came upon me,
and he led me out in the spirit of the LORD
and set me in the center of the plain,
which was now filled with bones.
He made me walk among the bones in every direction
so that I saw how many they were on the surface of the plain.
How dry they were!
He asked me:
Son of man, can these bones come to life?
I answered, "Lord GOD, you alone know that."
Then he said to me:
Prophesy over these bones, and say to them:
Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones:
See! I will bring spirit into you, that you may come to life.
I will put sinews upon you, make flesh grow over you,
cover you with skin, and put spirit in you
so that you may come to life and know that I am the LORD.
I, Ezekiel, prophesied as I had been told,
and even as I was prophesying I heard a noise;
it was a rattling as the bones came together, bone joining bone.
I saw the sinews and the flesh come upon them,
and the skin cover them, but there was no spirit in them.
Then the LORD said to me:
Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man,
and say to the spirit: Thus says the Lord GOD:
From the four winds come, O spirit,
and breathe into these slain that they may come to life.
I prophesied as he told me, and the spirit came into them;
they came alive and stood upright, a vast army.
Then he said to me:
Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.
They have been saying,
"Our bones are dried up,
our hope is lost, and we are cut off."
Therefore, prophesy and say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them,
and bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

or Jl 3:1-5

Thus says the LORD:
I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.
Your sons and daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
your young men shall see visions;
even upon the servants and the handmaids,
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
And I will work wonders in the heavens and on the earth,
blood, fire, and columns of smoke;
the sun will be turned to darkness,
and the moon to blood,
at the coming of the day of the LORD,
the great and terrible day.
Then everyone shall be rescued
who calls on the name of the LORD;
for on Mount Zion there shall be a remnant,
as the LORD has said,
and in Jerusalem survivors
whom the LORD shall call.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 104:1-2, 24, 35, 27-28, 30

R. (cf. 30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and glory,
robed in light as with a cloak.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
How manifold are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you have wrought them allC
the earth is full of your creatures;
bless the LORD, O my soul! Alleluia.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Creatures all look to you
to give them food in due time.
When you give it to them, they gather it;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
If you take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 Rom 8:22-27

Brothers and sisters:
We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now;
and not only that, but we ourselves,
who have the first fruits of the Spirit,
we also groan within ourselves
as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
For in hope we were saved.
Now hope that sees is not hope.
For who hopes for what one sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts
knows what is the intention of the Spirit,
because he intercedes for the holy ones
according to God's will.

Gospel Jn 7:37-39

On the last and greatest day of the feast,
Jesus stood up and exclaimed,
"Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink.
As Scripture says:
Rivers of living water will flow from within him who believes in me."

He said this in reference to the Spirit
that those who came to believe in him were to receive.
There was, of course, no Spirit yet,
because Jesus had not yet been glorified.


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; holyspirit; prayer; saints
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 05/26/2012 1:35:55 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 
please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 05/26/2012 1:53:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Genesis 11:1-9

Babel: the confusion of language


[1] Now the whole earth had one language and few words. [2] And as men
migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
[3] And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them
thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. [4] Then they
said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens,
and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face
of the whole earth.” [5] And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower,
which the sons of men had built. [6] And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one
people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what
they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.
[7] Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not
understand one another’s speech.” [8] So the Lord scattered them abroad from
there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. [9] Therefore
its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all
the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the
earth.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

11:1-9. The text goes on to describe the growth of evil (cf. 8:21; 9:20-27), and,
as one of its results, the fact that mankind is scattered and its God-given unity is
fragmented. Thus, the text begins by talking about mankind when it was still toge-
ther; it came from the east, where it originated and settled in the plains of Meso-
potamia (in Shinar; cf. 10:10). But the people are filled with pride, and want to
make a name for themselves, and to guarantee their own security by reaching
heaven by their own efforts. This attitude is epitomized by the project of building
a massive tower (we can get some idea of it from the tower-temples of Mesopota-
mia, the ziggurats, on whose high terraces the Babylonians thought they could
gain access to the godhead and thus dominate God).

The text also offers an explanation for why there are so many languages; it sees
language as a sign of division and misunderstanding between individuals and na-
tions. It is based on the popular meaning of the word “babel”, connecting it with
the Hebrew balbalah, confusion; but in fact Babel means “gate of God”. We have
here an instance of literary devices being used to expound deep convictions – in
this case the view that disunion in mankind is the outcome of men’s pride and
sinfulness.

Babel thus becomes the opposite of Jerusalem, the city to which, the prophets
say, all the nations will flock (cf. Is 2:2-3). And it will be in the Church, the new
Jerusalem, that men of all nations, races and tongues will join in faith and love,
as will be seen in the Pentecost event (cf. Acts 2:1-13). There the phenomenon
of Babel will be reversed: all will understand the same language. In the history
of mankind, in effect, the Church is a kind of sign or sacrament of the union of
God and men, and of the unity of the whole human race (cf. Vatican II, “Lumen
Gentium”, 1).

11:4. St Augustine explains the frustration of man’s designs against God in this
way: “Where would man’s vain presumption have ended if it succeeded in rearing
a building of such size and height, even to the sky in the face of God – since
they would have been higher than any mountain and would have reached beyond
the limits of our atmosphere? In any case, no harm could have come to God from
any straining after spiritual or physical elevation” (”De civitate Dei”, 16, 4).

This new sin of mankind is basically the same sort of sin as was committed in
paradise; it is a kind of continuation of it. It is the sin of pride to which man is
always prone and it has been well described in the following words of St. Jose-
maria Escriva when he comments on 1 John 2:16: “The eyes of our soul grow
dull. Reason proclaims itself sufficient to understand everything, without the aid
of God. This is a subtle temptation, which hides behind the power of our intellect,
given by our Father God to man so that he might know and love him freely. Se-
duced by this temptation, the human mind appoints itself the centre of the uni-
verse, being thrilled with the prospect that ‘you shall be like gods’ (cf. Gen 3:5).
So, filled with love for itself, it turns its back on the love of God. In this way does
our existence fall prey unconditionally to the third enemy: pride of life. It’s not
merely a question of passing thoughts of vanity or self-love, it’s a state of gene-
ral conceit. Let’s not deceive ourselves, for this is the worst of all evils, the root
of every false step. The fight against pride has to be a constant battle, to such
an extent that someone once said that pride only disappears twenty-four hours
after a person dies. It is the arrogance of the Pharisee whom God cannot trans-
form because he finds in him the obstacle of self-sufficiency. It is the haughti-
ness which leads to despising other people, to lording it over them, and so mis-
treating them. For ‘when pride comes, then comes disgrace’ (Prov 11:2)”
(”Christ Is Passing By”, 6)

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 05/26/2012 2:05:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Exodus 19:3-8a, 16-20b

God promises a Covenant


[3] And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him out of the mountain
saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel:
[4] You have seen that I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’
wings and brought you to myself. [5] Now therefore, if you will obey my voice
and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for
all the earth is mine, [6] and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy
nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

[7] So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them
all these words which the Lord had commanded him. [8] And all the people an-
swered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

[16] On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings, and a
thick cloud upon the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the peo-
ple who were in the camp trembled. [17] Then Moses brought the people out of
the camp to meet God; and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain; [18]
And Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in
fire; and the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain
quaked greatly. [19] And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Mo-
ses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. [20] And the Lord came down up-
on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain;

*******************************************************************************************
Commentary:

19:1-25. This chapter is written as part of a magnificent liturgy is which the
events of Sinai are re-enacted for the reader. The sacred author, then, does not
seek to provide an exact, scholarly report on what happened there; what he is
providing, rather, is a theological interpretation of the real contact which took
place between God and his people.

As in other important sections of this book, it draws on the great traditions of
Israel but combines them so skillfully that they have become inseparable; only
now and then can one identify traces of particular traditions. The text as it now
stands is all of a piece. In this chapter there is a prologue (v. 9), summing up
what follows, and the theophany proper (vv. 10-25).

19:3-9. This passage summarizes the meaning of the Covenant that is going to
be established. So, it contains the idea of election, though it does not use the
term, and the idea of demands being made by God. Furthermore, we can see
here the new status of the people (it is God’s own property) and the basis of its
hope (in the sense that Israel attains its dignity as a people to the extent that it
is faithful to the divine will).

All the basic teachings are contained herein: a) The basis of the Covenant is Is-
rael’s deliverance from bondage (this has already happened: v. 4): the people are
the object of God’s preferential love; God made them a people by bringing about
that deliverance. b) If they keep the Covenant, they will become a very special
kind of people. This offer will take effect the moment they take on their commit-
ments, but Israel will develop towards its full maturity only to the extent that it
listens to/obeys the will of God. c) What God is offering the people is specified
in three complementary expressions – “My own possession”, “holy nation”,
“kingdom of priests”.

The first of these expressions means private property, personally acquired and
carefully conserved. Of all the nations of the earth Israel is to be “God’s property”
because he has chosen it and he protects it with special care. This new status
is something which will be stressed frequently (cf. Deut 7:6; 26:17-19; Ps 135;4;
Mal 3:17).

By being God’s possession Israel shares in his holiness, it is a “holy nation”, that
is, a people separated out from among the nations so as to keep a close relation-
ship with God; in other passages we are told more – that this is the relationship
of “a son of God” (cf. 4:22; Deut 14:1). This new way of being means that there is
a moral demand on the members of the people to show by their lives what they
are by God’s election: “You shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev
19:2).

And the expression “kingdom of priests” does not mean that they will be ruled by
priests, or that the entire people will exercise the role of priest (which is in fact re-
served to the tribe of Levi); rather, it reflects the fact that God gives Israel the pri-
vilege of being the only nation in his service. Israel alone has been chosen to be
a “kingdom for the Lord”, that is, to be the sphere where he dwells and is recog-
nized as the only Sovereign. Israel’s acknowledgment of God is shown by the
service the entire people renders to the Lord.

This section (vv 7-8) ends with Moses’ proposal of God’s plans to the people and
their acceptance of these plans by the elders and by all the people; “All that the
Lord has spoken we will do” (v. 8). The same wording will be used twice again in
the ceremony to ratify the Covenant (cf. 24:3, 7).

In the New Testament (1 Pet 2:5; Rev 1:6; 5:9-10) what happened here will be
picked up again with the very same words, applying it to the new situation of the
Christian in the Church, the new people of God and the true Israel (cf. Gal 3:20):
every Christian shares in Christ’s priesthood through his incorporation into Christ
and is “called to serve God by his activity in the world, because of the common
priesthood of the faithful, which makes him share in some way in the priesthood
of Christ. This priesthood – though essentially distinct from the ministerial priest-
hood–gives him the capacity to take part in the worship of the Church and to help
other men in their journey to God, with the witness of his word and his example,
through his prayer and work of atonement” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ is Passing By”,
120).

19:10-25. This description of the theophany on Sinai contains features of a so-
lemn liturgy in order to highlight the majesty and transcendence of God. Verses
10-15 cover as it were the preparation for the great event, and vv. 16-20 the event
itself.

The preparation is very detailed: ritual purification in the days previous, ablutions
and everything possible done to ensure that the participants have the right dispo-
sitions, even a ban on sexual intercourse (cf. Lev 15:16ff) as a sign of exclusive
concentration on God who is coming to visit. Also, the fact that the people have
to keep within bounds is a tangible way of showing the transcendence of God.
Once Jesus Christ, God made man, comes, no barrier will any longer be im-
posed.

The manifestation of God took place on the third day; The smoke, the fire and
the earthquake are external signs of the presence of God, who is the master of
nature. The two trumpet blasts (vv. 16, 19), the people’s march to the foot of the
mountain and then standing to attention – all give a liturgical tone to their acknow-
ledgment of the Lord as their only Sovereign. All these things and even the voice
of God in the thunder convey the idea that this awesome storm was something
unique, for what was happening this special presence of God on Sinai, could
never happen again.

Israel will never forget this religious experience, as we can see from the Psalms
(cf. Ps 18:8-9; 29:3-4; 77:17-18; 97:2ff). In the New Testament, extraordinary di-
vine manifestations will carry echoes of this theophany (cf. Mt 27:45; 51; Acts
2:2-4).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 05/26/2012 2:07:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Ezekiel 37:1-14

The dry bones


[1] The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the
Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; it was full of bones. [2] And he
led me round among them; and behold, there were very many upon the valley; and
lo, there were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
And I answered, “O Lord God, thou knowest.” Again he said to me, “Prophesy to
these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says
the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you
shall live. [6] And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon
you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you
shall know that I am the Lord.”

[7] So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise,
and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. [8] And as
I looked, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin
had covered them; but there was no breath in them. [9] Then he said to me, “Pro-
phesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the
Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain,
that they may live.” [10] So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath
came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great
host.

[11] Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.
Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut
off.’ [12] Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold,
I will open their graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people; and I will
bring you home into the land of Israel. [13] And you shall know that I am the Lord,
when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. [14] And
I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own
land; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done it, says
the Lord.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

37:1-14. This remarkable vision of the bones being brought back to life sets the
scene for the climax of the resurgence of Israel, the unification of the two king-
doms (cf. 37:15-28). The dramatic contrast drawn here between death and life,
bones and spirit, shows that the revitalization that God will bring about goes
much further than material reconstruction or simply a return to the promised
land; it implies, rather, a new beginning, both personal and social.

The vision itself (vv. 2-10) takes place on an immense plain (cf. 3:22-23) and it
addresses the exiles’ profound concern about their future: “Our bones are dried
up, and our hope is lost” (v. 11). It is one of Ezekiel’s most famous and most
commented-on visions because it is very vivid and easy to understand. The pro-
phet himself explains it as having to do with the destruction-restoration of Israel
(vv. 11-14), though the Fathers of the Church see in it veiled references to the re-
surrection of the dead: “The Creator will revive our mortal bodies here on earth;
he promises resurrection, the opening of sepulchers and tombs, and the gift of
immortality […]. And in all this, we see that he alone is God, who can do all
things, the good Father who from his endless bounty will give life to the lifeless”
(St Irenaeus, Adversus haereses, 5, 15, 1). St Jerome writes in similar terms:
“The image of the resurrection would not have been used to describe the resto-
ration of the people of Israel if the future resurrection of the dead had not been
foreseen, because no one can be led to draw a conclusion from an idea that
has no basis in reality” (Commentarii in Ezechielem, 27, 1ff.

“I will put my Spirit within you” (v. 14). The spirit of the Lord is, at least, the po-
wer of God (cf. Gen 2:7) performing an act of creation. It is also the principle of
life causing man to “become a living being” (Gen 2:7); and, certainly, it is the
principle of supernatural life. The same God that created all things can revitalize
his demoralized people in Babylon and can allow humankind to partake of his
own life. This promise, like others found in the prophets (cf. 11:19; Jer 31:31-34;
Joel 3:1-5) will find its complete fulfillment at Pentecost, when the Spirit descends
on the apostles: “According to these promises, at the ‘end time’ the Lord’s Spirit
will renew the hearts of men, engraving a new law in them. He will gather and re-
concile the scattered and divided peoples; he will transform the first creation, and
God will dwell there with men in peace” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 715).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


5 posted on 05/26/2012 2:09:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Joel 2:28-32 (Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition and New Vulgate)
Joel 3:1-5 (New American Bible)

The Spirit poured out


[28] And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
[29] Even upon the menservants and maidservants
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

[30] and I will give portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and co-
lumns of smoke. [31] The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood,
before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. [32] And it shall come to pass
that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion
and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and
among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

2:18-3:21. The second part of the book is all about salvation. The Lord’s compas-
sion (2:18) is shown by the message he sends via the prophet to the people in
response to their conversion: “The Lord answered and said to his people” (2:19).
On the Lord’s behalf the prophet encourages Judah and Jerusalem, telling them
that they have no reason to be afraid, for the Lord is going to deliver them from
their afflictions and provide them with every sort of earthly good (symbolized here
by the produce of the earth – grain, wine, oil: 2:19-27).

But the high point will be when God pours out his “spirit on all flesh …” (2:28).
The outpouring of the Spirit is the definitive sign that the “day of the Lord” has
come. That “day” is mentioned five times in the book (1:15; 2:1, 11, 31; 3:14),
each time with greater emphasis. The day of the Lord is an End time when a
number of things will happen: wickedness will be punished (1:15; 2:1-3); the po-
wer of the Lord will be manifested by portents in the heavens and on earth (2:30-
31); and, above all, it is the day when the Lord will judge all nations (3:1-8).

2:28-32. This is the great passage about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The
word “afterward” in v. 28 marks the transition from the material benefits de-
scribed in the previous verses to spiritual benefits. The outpouring of the Spirit
involves charismatic and prophetical gifts primarily (moral gifts derive from these).
This infusion of the Spirit is the fulfillment of an ancient promise, found in Num-
bers 11:16-30: “Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, […] and I will
take some of the spirit which is upon you and put it upon them, […] Would that
all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!”
This hope is accentuated in Joel, for now no limits are placed on who will benefit
from it – elders, young people, and even servants (vv. 28-29). And the Lord will
once more perform wondrous things through them (v. 30), like those done by
prophets in the strict sense (cf. Deut 13:2; etc.).

St Peter sees this promise being fulfilled when the Holy Spirit is poured out on
the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21). “Peter turns to this passage from Joel to ex-
plain the significance of what has occurred, and the signs which those present
have seen: ‘the pouring out of the Holy Spirit’. It is a super-natural work of God,
carried out with the signs typical of the coming of the Lord, as they were foretold
by the prophets and realized in the New Testament with the coming of Christ”
(Bl. John Paul II, Address, 8 November 1989). Therefore, too, in the tradition of
the Church, this descent of the Holy Spirit is seen as an extension of his descent
on Jesus in the river Jordan: “God promised through the mouths of his prophets
that in the last days he would pour out his Spirit on all his servants, and that they
too would prophesy. Thus, the Spirit of God, who had become the Son of man,
so that by remaining within him, he would inhabit the heart of mankind and ani-
mate all the works carried out by the hands of God, fulfilling the will of the Father
through all men and making all men new – new creations in Christ. Luke tells us
that after the ascension of the Lord, the Spirit descended on the apostles at Pen-
tecost, to restore men to new life and to bring the new covenant to completion.
Therefore, the disciples praised God in all the tongues of men, laying all peoples
open to the action of the Spirit and all nations open to the power and authority of
God” (St Irenaeus, “Adversus haereses”, 3, 17, 1-2).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


6 posted on 05/26/2012 2:11:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Romans 8:22-27

Christians are Children of God (Continuation)


[22] We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until
now; [3] and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of
the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our
bodies. [24] For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope.
For who hopes for what he sees? [25] But if we hope for what we do not see,
we wait for it in patience.

[26] Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to
pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for
words. [27] And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of
the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of
God.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

19-21. To make his point more vividly St Paul, in a metaphor, depicts the whole
of creation, the material universe, as a living person, groaning in pain impatiently
waiting for a future event, raising its head, straining to see something appear on
the horizon.

The material world is indeed, through God’s design, linked to man and his des-
tiny. “Sacred Scripture teaches that man was created ‘in the image of God,’ as
able to know and love his Creator, and as set by him over all earthly creatures
that he might rule them, and make use of them, while glorifying God” (Vatican II,
“Gaudium Et Spes”, 12). The futility to which creation is subject is not so much
corruption and death as the disorder resulting from sin. According to God’s plan
material things should be resources which enable man to attain the ultimate
goal of his existence. By using them in a disordered way, disconnecting them
from God, man turns them into instruments of sin, which therefore are subject
to the consequences of sin.

“Are we of the twentieth century not convinced of the overpoweringly eloquent
words of the Apostle of the Gentiles concerning the ‘creation (that) has been
groaning in travail together until now’ and ‘waits with eager longing for the revea-
ling of the sons of God’, the creation that ‘was subjected to futility’? Does not the
previously unknown immense progress — which has taken place especially in the
course of this century — in the field of man’s dominion over the world itself reveal
— to a previously unknown degree — that manifold subjection ‘to futility’? [...] The
world of the previously unattained conquests of science and technology—is it not
also the world ‘groaning in travail’ that ‘waits with eager longing for the revealing
of the sons of God’?” (Bl. John Paul II, “Redemptor Hominis”, 8).

Reestablishment of the order willed by God, bringing the whole world to fulfill its
true purpose, is the particular mission of the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life, the true
Lord of history: “’The arm of the Lord has not been shortened.’ God is no less po-
werful today than he was in other times; his love for man is no less true. Our faith
teaches us that all creation, the movement of the earth and the other heavenly
bodies, the good actions of creatures and all the good that has been achieved in
history, in short everything, comes from God and is directed toward him.

“The action of the Holy Spirit may pass unnoticed because God does not reveal
to us his plans, and because man’s sin obscures the divine gifts. But faith tells
us that God is always acting. He has created us and maintains us in existence,
and he is leading all creation by his grace towards the glorious freedom of the
children of God” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 130).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


7 posted on 05/26/2012 2:12:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: John 7:37-39

Different opinions about Jesus


[37] On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed,
“If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. [38] He who believes in me, as
the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” [39] Now
this he said about the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive; for
as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

37-39. On each of the eight days of the Feast of Tabernacles the high priest went
to the pool of Siloam and, used a golden cup to bring water to the temple and
sprinkle it on the altar, in remembrance of the water which sprang up miraculous-
ly in the desert, asking God to send rain in plenty (cf. Ex l7:1-7). Meanwhile, a
passage from the prophet Isaiah was chanted (cf. Is 12:3) which told of the com-
ing of the Saviour and of the outpouring of heavenly gifts that would accompany
him; Ezekiel 47 was also read, in which it spoke of the torrents of water which
would pour out of the temple. Jesus, who would have been at this ceremony,
now proclaims – in the presence of a huge crowd, undoubtedly, because it was
the most solemn day of the festival – that that time has come: “If any one thirst,
let him come to me and drink . . .”. This invitation recalls the words of divine wis-
dom: “Come to me, you who desire me, and eat your fill” (Sir 24:19; cf. Prov 9:
4-5). Our Lord presents himself as him who can fill man’s heart and bring him
peace (cf. also Mt 11:28). In this connexion St Augustine exclaims: “You made
us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you” (”Con-
fessions”, 1, 1, 1).

Jesus’ words as preserved in v. 37 led St Alphonsus to write this tender commen-
tary full of love for our Saviour: “In Jesus Christ we have three fountains of grace.
The first is the fountain of mercy, where we can be purified of all the stains of our
sins. […] The second is that of love: no one who meditates on the suffering and
shame that Jesus Christ undergoes out of love for us, from his birth to his death,
can fail to be kindled by that happy fire which comes down on earth to set on fire
the hearts of all men. […] The third is the fountain of peace: let him who seeks
peace of heart come to me, who is the God of peace” (”Meditations for Advent”,
med. 8).

Furthermore, when Jesus speaks of “rivers of living water” flowing out of his heart,
he is probably referring to the prophecy in Ezekiel 36:25ff where it is announced
that in messianic times the people will be sprinkled with clean water and will be
given a new spirit and their heart of stone will be changed for a heart of flesh. In
other words, Jesus, once he has been exalted as befits his position as Son of
God, will send at Pentecost the Holy Spirit, who will change the hearts of those
who believe in him. “For this reason, Christian tradition has summarized the at-
titude we should adopt towards the Holy Spirit in just one idea – docility. That
means we should be aware of the work of the Holy Spirit all around us, and in
our own selves we should recognize the gifts he distributes, the movements and
institutions he inspires, the affections and decisions he provokes in our hearts”
(St. J. Escriva, “Christ is Passing By”, 130).

To say that the Holy Spirit will come visibly on the day of Pentecost does not
mean that he has not been active before: when the prophets of the Old Testa-
ment speak they are inspired by the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Pet 1:21) and there are
countless passages in the New Testament where we are told that he is acting:
for example, he overshadows the Blessed Virgin at the Annunciation (cf. Lk
1:35); he moves Zechariah to prophesy the wonders of the Lord (cf. Lk 1:67-79),
and Simeon to proclaim that the Saviour of the world has come (cf. Lk 2:25-38).

But, asks St Augustine, “how are the words of the Evangelist to be understood:
“The Spirit had not yet been given, since Jesus was not yet glorified’, if not in
the sense that, after the glorification of Christ, there would certainly be a giving
or sending of the Holy Spirit of such a kind as there had never been before?”
(”De Trinitate”, 4, 20). Our Lord was referring, therefore, to the coming of the
Holy Spirit after his ascension into heaven, an outpouring which St John sees
as symbolically anticipated when Christ’s side is pierced by a lance and blood
and water flow out (Jn 19:34). The Fathers saw in this the birth of the Church
and the sanctifying power of the sacraments, especially those of Baptism and
the Eucharist.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


8 posted on 05/26/2012 2:13:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings

These readings are for the Vigil Mass on the evening before the feast:


First reading Genesis 11:1-9 ©
Throughout the earth men spoke the same language, with the same vocabulary. Now as they moved eastwards they found a plain in the land of Shinar where they settled. They said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and bake them in the fire.’ (For stone they used bricks, and for mortar they used bitumen). ‘Come,’ they said ‘let us build ourselves a town and a tower with its top reaching heaven. Let us make a name for ourselves, so that we may not be scattered about the whole earth.’
  Now the Lord came down to see the town and the tower that the sons of man had built. ‘So they are all a single people with a single language!’ said the Lord. ‘This is but the start of their undertakings! There will be nothing too hard for them to do. Come, let us go down and confuse their language on the spot so that they can no longer understand one another.’ The Lord scattered them thence over the whole face of the earth, and they stopped building the town. It was named Babel therefore, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth. It was from there that the Lord scattered them over the whole face of the earth.

First reading Exodus 19:3-8,16-20 ©
Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Say this to the House of Jacob, declare this to the sons of Israel:
  ‘“You yourselves have seen what I did with the Egyptians, how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself. From this you know that now, if you obey my voice and hold fast to my covenant, you of all the nations shall be my very own, for all the earth is mine. I will count you a kingdom of priests, a consecrated nation.”
  ‘Those are the words you are to speak to the sons of Israel.’
  So Moses went and summoned the elders of the people, putting before them all that the Lord had bidden him. Then all the people answered as one, ‘All that the Lord has said, we will do.’
  Now at daybreak on the third day there were peals of thunder on the mountain and lightning flashes, a dense cloud, and a loud trumpet blast, and inside the camp all the people trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the bottom of the mountain. The mountain of Sinai was entirely wrapped in smoke, because the Lord had descended on it in the form of fire. Like smoke from a furnace the smoke went up, and the whole mountain shook violently. Louder and louder grew the sound of the trumpet. Moses spoke, and God answered him with peals of thunder. The Lord came down on the mountain of Sinai, on the mountain top, and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain.

First reading Ezekiel 37:1-14 ©
The hand of the Lord was laid on me, and he carried me away by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley, a valley full of bones. He made me walk up and down among them. There were vast quantities of these bones on the ground the whole length of the valley; and they were quite dried up. He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘You know, Lord.’ He said, ‘Prophesy over these bones. Say, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says this to these bones: I am now going to make the breath enter you, and you will live. I shall put sinews on you, I shall make flesh grow on you, I shall cover you with skin and give you breath, and you will live; and you will learn that I am the Lord.”’ I prophesied as I had been ordered. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a sound of clattering; and the bones joined together. I looked, and saw that they were covered with sinews; flesh was growing on them and skin was covering them, but there was no breath in them. He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man. Say to the breath, “The Lord says this: Come from the four winds, breath; breathe on these dead; let them live!”’ I prophesied as he had ordered me, and the breath entered them; they came to life again and stood up on their feet, a great, an immense army.
  Then he said, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They keep saying, “Our bones are dried up, our hope has gone; we are as good as dead.” So prophesy. Say to them, “The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.”’

First reading Joel 3:1-5 ©
Thus says the Lord:
‘I will pour out my spirit on all mankind.
Your sons and daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men see visions.
Even on the slaves, men and women,
will I pour out my spirit in those days.
I will display portents in heaven and on earth,
blood and fire and columns of smoke.’
The sun will be turned into darkness,
and the moon into blood,
before the day of the Lord dawns,
that great and terrible day.
All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved,
for on Mount Zion there will be some who have escaped,
as the Lord has said,
and in Jerusalem some survivors whom the Lord will call.


Psalm Psalm 103:1-2,24,27-30,35 ©
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
Bless the Lord, my soul!
  Lord God, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and glory,
  wrapped in light as in a robe!
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
How many are your works, O Lord!
  In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your riches.
  Bless the Lord, my soul.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
All of these look to you
  to give them their food in due season.
You give it, they gather it up:
  you open your hand, they have their fill.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
You take back your spirit, they die,
  returning to the dust from which they came.
You send forth your spirit, they are created;
  and you renew the face of the earth.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!

Second reading Romans 8:22-27 ©
From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free. For we must be content to hope that we shall be saved – our salvation is not in sight, we should not have to be hoping for it if it were – but, as I say, we must hope to be saved since we are not saved yet – it is something we must wait for with patience.
  The Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia, alleluia!
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Alleluia!

Gospel John 7:37-39 ©
On the last day and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood there and cried out:
‘If any man is thirsty, let him come to me!
Let the man come and drink who believes in me!’
As scripture says: From his breast shall flow fountains of living water.
  He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive; for there was no Spirit as yet because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

These readings are for the day of the feast itself. Readings for the Vigil mass (on the evening before) are shown further down the page.


First reading Acts 2:1-11 ©
When Pentecost day came round, they had all met in one room, 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 foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.
  Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, each one bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. ‘Surely’ they said ‘all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; as well as visitors from Rome – Jews and proselytes alike – Cretans and Arabs; we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.’

Psalm Psalm 103:1,24,29-31,34 ©
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
Bless the Lord, my soul!
  Lord God, how great you are,
How many are your works, O Lord!
  The earth is full of your riches.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
You take back your spirit, they die,
  returning to the dust from which they came.
You send forth your spirit, they are created;
  and you renew the face of the earth.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
May the glory of the Lord last for ever!
  May the Lord rejoice in his works!
May my thoughts be pleasing to him.
  I find my joy in the Lord.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!

Second reading 1 Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13 ©
No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ unless he is under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
  There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them. The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose. Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with Christ. In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink.

Second reading Galatians 5:16-25 ©
If you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence, since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit, the Spirit is totally against such a thing, and it is precisely because the two are so opposed that you do not always carry out your good intentions. If you are led by the Spirit, no law can touch you. When self-indulgence is at work the results are obvious: fornication, gross indecency and sexual irresponsibility; idolatry and sorcery; feuds and wrangling, jealousy, bad temper and quarrels; disagreements, factions, envy; drunkenness, orgies and similar things. I warn you now, as I warned you before: those who behave like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control. There can be no law against things like that, of course. You cannot belong to Christ Jesus unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires.
  Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit.


Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia, alleluia!
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Alleluia!

Gospel John 20:19-23 ©
In the evening of the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The 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.
For those whose sins you forgive,
they are forgiven;
for those whose sins you retain,
they are retained.’

Gospel John 15:26-27,16:12-15 ©
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘When the Advocate comes,
whom I shall send to you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father,
he will be my witness.
And you too will be witnesses,
because you have been with me from the outset.
‘I still have many things to say to you
but they would be too much for you now.
But when the Spirit of truth comes
he will lead you to the complete truth,
since he will not be speaking as from himself
but will say only what he has learnt;
and he will tell you of the things to come.
He will glorify me,
since all he tells you
will be taken from what is mine.
Everything the Father has is mine;
that is why I said:
All he tells you
will be taken from what is mine.’

9 posted on 05/26/2012 9:28:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The First Pentecost [Catholic Caucus]
The Priest's Mission as Guide
On the Church’s Birthday, Let’s Pray for Our Priests (Archbishop Charles Chaput) [Catholic Caucus]
On Mary's Maternal Presence at Pentecost (Catholic Caucus)
A Pentecost Monday Lesson: “And Paul VI Wept.”
Pentecost, the Birthday of the Church [Catholic Caucus]
The Holy Spirit and Middlemen

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal
COME HOLY SPIRIT [Ecumenical]
Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts [Devotional]
Did the Apostles Pray the Rosary? (First Novena to the Holy Spirit?) [Catholic Caucus]
It is the Decision of the Holy Spirit and Us….On the Council of Jerusalem...(Catholic Caucus)
The Holy Spirit And Mary (Catholic Caucus)
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part 1: The Apostles’ Creed, “ I Believe in the Holy Spirit”
The Essentials of theCatholic Faith,Part1:Apostles’ Creed:“Conceived-Holy Spirit,Born-Virgin Mary
Benedict XVI's Homily for Solemnity of Pentecost
Pentecost Past and Present

The Purpose of Pentecost: and the New Missionary Age of the Church
Pentecost: the Holy Spirit Comes
Pentecost on Mount Athos (where earthly time is one and the same as the eternal today of heaven)
Pentecost Continues
Vigil of the Pentecost and Whitsunday
THE CHURCH IS ALWAYS IN A STATE OF PENTECOST
Father Cantalamessa on Pentecost - Pontifical Household Preacher on Sunday's Readings
The Ever-Present Pentecost
The Advocate vs. The Accuser (Fr. Euteneuer Column)
Always be followed by your conscience (Rainbow Sashers get ready for Pentecost Sunday)

Pentecost worries Vatican [Pentecostals in the Philippines]
Prayer and Meditation: Pentecost
Pentecost Anticipation: The Catholic Charismatic Renewal and Me
Paul's Teaching on the Holy Spirit
Today's Pentecost! Come, Holy Spirit!
Breath of the Savior
Pentecost: The Descent of the Holy Spirit
PENTECOST - Rite of Kneeling
CATECHISM CC - Pt. 1 - Chap. 3 - I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
CATECHISM CC - Pt 1, Chap 3, ARTICLE 8 "I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT"

10 posted on 05/26/2012 9:33:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
[12] Fruits of the Holy Spirit [Catholic Caucus]
Following the Truth: 7 Reasons To Be Thankful For The Holy Spirit [Catholic Caucus]
The Friend Closest to Your Heart -- How well do you know the Holy Spirit?
On the Holy Spirit's Prayer in Us: 'Abba! Father!'
What Does It Mean to Be Baptized With the Holy Spirit?

What Is the Unforgivable Sin against the Holy Spirit? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Apostles Did Not Commence to Preach the Gospel, Or To Place Anything on Record Until.........
The Holy Spirit and Me
[CATH/ORTH CAUCUS] >From Mediocrity to Magnificence: A Meditation on the Fruits of the Holy Spirit
Sins Against the Holy Spirit [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Holy Spirit and Middlemen
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal
The Holy Spirit And Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Benedict XVI's Homily for Solemnity of Pentecost
Pentecost Past and Present

The Purpose of Pentecost: and the New Missionary Age of the Church
Pentecost: the Holy Spirit Comes
Pentecost on Mount Athos (where earthly time is one and the same as the eternal today of heaven)
Vigil of the Pentecost and Whitsunday
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit [Devotional]
Novena to the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit]
The Holy Spirit: Pentecost
The Church's First Novena
Litany of the Holy Spirit for the election of a holy pope.

11 posted on 05/26/2012 9:35:01 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


 

PRAYERS AFTER
HOLY MASS AND COMMUNION



Leonine Prayers
    Following are the Prayers after Low Mass which were prescribed by Pope Leo XIII who composed the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel, and were reinforced by Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII to pray for the conversion of Russia. These prayers were in effect until after Vatican II. A decade later Paul VI said, "satan has entered the sanctuary." Could the elimination of these powerful prayers with a ten year indulgence have played a huge part in allowing the devil such easy access? The answer is obvious. Below the normal Leonine Prayers is the longer version of the Prayer to St. Michael, composed by His Excellency Pope Leo XIII to defend against The Great Apostasy.
Latin

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructis ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
(Said 3 times)

    Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae, vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Evae. Ad te suspiramus gementes et fientes in hac lacrymarum valle. Eia ergo, Advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte. Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis, post hoc exilium, ostende. O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

    Oremus. Deus, refugium nostrum et virtus, populum ad te clamantem propitius respice; et intercedente gloriosa, et immaculata Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cum beato Joseph, ejus Sponso, ac beatis Apostolis tuis Petro et Paulo, et omnibus Sanctis, quas pro conversione peccatorum, pro libertate et exaltatione sanctae Matris Ecclesiae, preces effundimus, misericors et benignus exaudi. Per eundum Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis, satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute in infernum detrude. Amen.

Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.

Vernacular

   Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
(Said 3 times)

   Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee to we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mouring and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

   Let us pray.
O God, our refuge and our strength, look down with mercy upon the people who cry to Thee; and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Saint Joseph her spouse, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the liberty and exaltation of the Holy Mother the Church. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

   Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.


Complete Prayer to Saint Michael
    The following is the longer version of the vital prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 after his startling vision as to the future of the Church. This prayer was dedicated for the Feast of St. Michael 1448 years from the date of the election of the first Leo - Pope Saint Leo the Great. Everyone is familiar with the first prayer below which was mandated by His Holiness as part of the Leonine Prayers after Low Mass. After Vatican II, in legion with the devil Giovanni Montini outlawed this necessary prayer and then one wonders how "the smoke of satan" got into the sanctuary? The conciliarists wanted to make sure the words in bold below would never see the light of day again for in it Leo foretold what would happen: The shepherd would be struck, the sheep scattered. Below are both the short and longer versions of this poignant prayer which should never be forgotten.

    Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou, O heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.

    V: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
    R: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
    V: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
    R: As we have hoped in Thee.
    V: O Lord hear my prayer.
    R: And let my cry come unto Thee.

    V: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls. Amen.


Prayer Before the Crucifix

   Look down upon me, O good and gentle Jesus, while before Thy face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment; the while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Thy five most precious wounds, pondering over them within me, calling to mind the words which David Thy prophet said of Thee, my good Jesus: "They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones."

Indulgence of ten years; a plenary indulgence if recited after devout reception of Holy Communion, Raccolta 201)

Anima Christi - Soul of Christ

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds, hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me.
And bid me come to Thee, that with
Thy saints I may praise Thee for ever and ever. Amen.

Indulgence of 300 days; if recited after devout reception of Holy Communion, seven years Raccolta 131)

Prayer for Vocations

   O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst take to Thyself a body and soul like ours, to teach us the glory of self-sacrifice and service, mercifully deign to instill in other hearts the desire to dedicate their lives to Thee. Give us PRIESTS to stand before Thine Altar and to preach the words of Thy Gospel; BROTHERS to assist the priests and to reproduce in themselves Thy humility; SISTERS to teach the young and nurse the sick and to minister Thy charity to all; LAY PEOPLE to imitate Thee in their homes and families. Amen.


12 posted on 05/26/2012 9:44:03 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
13 posted on 05/26/2012 9:44:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
14 posted on 05/26/2012 9:45:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Image Detail
 
Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.


15 posted on 05/26/2012 9:48:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Joyful Mysteries
(Mondays and Saturdays)

1. The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) [Spiritual fruit - Humility]
2. The Visitation (Luke 1: 39-56) [Spiritual fruit - Love of Neighbor]
3. The Nativity (Luke 2:1-20) [Spiritual fruit - Poverty of Spirit]
4. The Presentation (Luke 2:21-38) [Spiritual fruit - Purity of mind & body]
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52) [Spiritual fruit - Obedience ]

16 posted on 05/26/2012 9:49:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

17 posted on 05/26/2012 9:50:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


18 posted on 05/26/2012 9:51:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
May Devotion: Blessed Virgin Mary
The Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Grace

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Toward the end of the eighteenth century a zealous Jesuit priest, Father Lalomia, started among the students of the Roman college of his Society the practice of dedicating May to Our Lady. The devotion, which others had promoted in a small way, soon spread to other Jesuit Colleges and to the entire Latin church and since that time it has been a regular feature of Catholic life.

INVOCATIONS

Thou who wast a virgin before thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin in thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin after thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.

My Mother, deliver me from mortal sin.
Hail Mary (three times).

Mother of love, of sorrow and of mercy, pray for us.

Remember, O Virgin Mother of God, when thou shalt stand before the face of the Lord, that thou speak favorable things in our behalf and that He may turn away His indignation from us.
Roman Missal

Thou art my Mother, O Virgin Mary: keep me safe lest I ever offend thy dear Son, and obtain for me the grace to please Him always and in all things.

FOR THE HELP OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

May we be assisted, we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, by the worshipful intercession of Thy glorious Mother, the ever-Virgin Mary; that we, who have been enriched by her perpetual blessings, may be delivered from all dangers, and through her loving kindness made to be of one heart and mind: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Roman Missal

THE SALVE REGINA

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus! O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
Roman Breviary

PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

O blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay thee thy just dues of praise and thanksgiving, thou who by the wondrous assent of thy will didst rescue a fallen world? What songs of praise can our weak human nature recite in thy honor, since it is by thy intervention alone that it has found
the way to restoration? Accept, then, such poor thanks as we have here to offer, though they be unequal to thy merits; and, receiving our vows, obtain by thy prayers the remission of our offenses. Carry thou our prayers within the sanctuary of the heavenly audience, and bring forth from it the antidote of our reconciliation. May the sins we bring before Almighty God through thee, become pardonable through thee; may what we ask for with sure confidence, through thee be granted. Take our offering, grant us our requests, obtain pardon for what we fear, for thou art the sole hope of sinners. Through thee we hope for the remission of our sins, and in thee, 0 blessed Lady, is our hope of reward. Holy Mary, succour the miserable, help the fainthearted, comfort the sorrowful, pray for thy people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God; may all who keep thy holy commemoration feel now thy help and protection. Be thou ever ready to assist us when we pray, and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it thy continual care to pray for the people of God, thou who, blessed by God, didst merit to bear the Redeemer of the world, who liveth and reigneth, world without end. Amen.
Saint Augustine

PETITION TO MARY

Most holy Virgin Immaculate, my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the queen of the universe, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I who am the most miserable of all sinners, have recourse this day. I venerate thee, great queen, and I thank thee for the many graces thou hast bestowed upon me even unto this day; in particular for having delivered me from the hell which I have so often deserved by my sins. I love thee, most dear Lady; and for the love I bear thee, I promise to serve thee willingly for ever and to do what I can to make thee loved by others also. I place in thee all my hopes for salvation; accept me as thy servant and shelter me under thy mantle, thou who art the Mother of mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or at least obtain for me the strength to overcome them until death. From thee I implore a true love for Jesus Christ. Through thee I hope to die a holy death. My dear Mother, by the love thou bearest to Almighty God, I pray thee to assist me always, but most of all at the last moment of my life. Forsake me not then, until thou shalt see me safe in heaven, there to bless thee and sing of thy mercies through all eternity. Such is my hope. Amen.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Blessed Virgin Mary Magnificat Prayer
My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior,
For he has looked upon his servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed.
God who is mighty has done great things for me,
holy is his name; His mercy is from age to age on those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm; he has confused the proud in their inmost thoughts. He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places. The hungry he has given every good thing, while the rich he has sent empty away. He has upheld Israel his servant, ever mindful of his mercy; Even as he promised our fathers, promised Abraham and his descendants forever.
(Lk 1:46-55) 

Seen above is the Blessed Virgin Mary, portrayed as Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
It was she who was chosen by God, to provide His Son with His Sacred Humanity.
She did so in humble and total cooperation with the Holy Spirit and the Divine will of the Holy Trinity; providing God's Son with the Blood He shed for us on the Cross.

TO MARY, REFUGE OF SINNERS
Hail, most gracious Mother of mercy, hail, Mary, for whom we fondly yearn, through whom we obtain forgiveness! Who would not love thee? Thou art our light in uncertainty, our comfort in sorrow, our solace in the time of trial, our refuge from every peril and temptation. Thou art our sure hope of salvation, second only to thy only-begotten Son; blessed are they who love thee, our Lady! Incline, I beseech thee, thy ears of pity to the entreaties of this thy servant, a miserable sinner; dissipate the darkness of my sins by the bright beams of thy holiness, in order that I may be acceptable in thy sight.

FOR THE GRACE OF LOVE
O Mary, my dear Mother, how much I love thee! And yet in reality how little! Thou dost teach me what I ought to know, for thou teachest me what Jesus is to me and what I ought to be for Jesus. Dearly beloved Mother, how close to God thou art, and how utterly filled with Him! In the measure that we know God, we remind ourselves of thee. Mother of God, obtain for me the grace of loving my Jesus; obtain for me the grace of loving thee!
Cardinal Merry del Val

TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY FOR MAY

O most august and blessed Virgin Mary! Holy Mother of God! glorious Queen of heaven and earth! powerful protectress of those who love thee, and unfailing advocate of all who invoke thee! look down, I beseech thee, from thy throne of glory on thy devoted child; accept the solemn offering I present thee of this month, specially dedicated to thee, and receive my ardent, humble desire, that by my love and fervor I could worthily honor thee, who, next to God, art deserving of all honor. Receive me, 0 Mother of Mercy, among thy best beloved children; extend to me thy maternal tenderness and solicitude; obtain for me a place in the Heart of Jesus, and a special share in the gifts of His grace. 0 deign, I beseech thee, to recognize my claims on thy protection, to watch over my spiritual and temporal interests, as well as those of all who are dear to me; to infuse into my soul the spirit of Christ, and to teach me thyself to become meek, humble, charitable, patient, and submissive to the will of God.

May my heart bum with the love of thy Divine Son, and of thee, His blessed Mother, not for a month alone, but for time and eternity; may I thirst for the promotion of His honor and thine, and contribute, as far as I can, to its extension. Receive me, 0 Mary, the refuge of sinners! Grant me a Mother's blessing and a Mother's care, now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

TO OUR LADY

Saint John Vianney, better known as the Cure of Ars, when asked how long he had loved Mary, said: "I loved her almost before I could know her." In this prayer he expresses that love.
O thou most holy virgin Mary, who dost evermore stand before the most holy Trinity, and to whom it is granted at all times to pray for us to thy most beloved Son; pray for me in all my necessities; help me, combat for me, and obtain for me the pardon of all my sins. Help me especially at my last hour; and when I can no longer give any sign of the use of reason, then do thou encourage me, make the sign of the cross for me, and fight for me against the enemy. Make in my name a profession of faith; favor me with a testimony of my salvation, and never let me despair of the mercy of God. Help me to overthrow the wicked enemy. When I can no longer say: "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I place my soul in your hands," do thou say it for me; when I can no longer hear human words of consolation, do thou comfort me. Leave me not before I have been judged; and if I have to expiate my sins in purgatory, oh! pray for me earnestly; and admonish my friends to procure for me a speedy enjoyment of the blessed sight of God. Lessen my sufferings, deliver me speedily, and lead my soul into heaven with thee: that, united with all the elect, I may there bless and praise my God and thee for all eternity. Amen.
Saint John Vianney

ACT OF REPARATION

O blessed Virgin, Mother of God, look down in mercy from heaven, where thou art enthroned as Queen, upon me, a miserable sinner, thine unworthy servant. Although I know full well my own unworthiness, yet in order to atone for the offenses that are done to thee by impious and blasphemous
tongues, from the depths of my heart I praise and extol thee as the purest, the fairest, the holiest creature of all God's handiwork. I bless thy holy name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever virgin, conceived without stain of sin, co-redemptrix of the human race. I bless the Eternal Father who chose thee in an especial way for His daughter; I bless the Word Incarnate who took upon Himself our nature in thy bosom and so made thee His Mother; I bless the Holy Spirit who took thee as His bride. All honor, praise and thanksgiving to the ever-blessed Trinity, who predestined thee and loved thee so exceedingly from all eternity as to exalt thee above all creatures to the most sublime heights. 0 Virgin, holy and merciful, obtain for all who offend thee the grace of repentance, and graciously accept this poor act of homage from me thy servant, obtaining likewise for me from thy divine Son the pardon and remission of all my sins. Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Memorare of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

Image Detail

Remember O Most Gracious Virgin Mary! 

That never was it known
That anyone who fled to thy protection,
Implored thy help or sought thy intercession
Was left unaided. 

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto Thee!
O Virgin of virgins, My Mother!

To Thee I come before Thee I stand,
Sinful and Sorrowful,
Oh Mother of the Word Incarnate,
Despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy,
Hear and answer me.


Amen

A Mother’s Love, The Blessed Virgin Mary Saying YES To God
Chesterton on devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary [Ecumenical]
The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary
A Comparison is Instituted Between the Disobedient and Sinning Eve and the Virgin Mary..

Magnificat: The Hymn of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Catholic Caucus]
The Blessed Virgin Mary's Role in the Celibate Priest's Spousal... (Pt 2) (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
The Blessed Virgin Mary's Role in the Celibate Priest's Spousal and Paternal Love (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
Discovering Mary [Excellent New Book For Converts]
Beginning Our Lady's Month [Catholic Caucus]
Give it all to Mary [Catholic Caucus]
JESUS LIVING IN MARY: HANDBOOK, SPIRITUALITY OF ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT, ROSARY [Ecumenical]
Mary, Tabernacle of the Lord By Archbishop Fulton Sheen(Catholic Caucus)
A Protestant Discovers Mary
Mary is our Mother and Queen of the New Davidic Kingdom (Scriptures Agree With Catholic Church)

Hail Mary
Holy Water Silhouette (Virgin Mary -video))
How could Mary be the Mother of God?
Mary, the Mother of God (a defense)
Calling Mary “Mother of God” Tells Us Who Jesus Is
The Holy Spirit And Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Mary, Our Cause of Rejoicing
Mary in Byzantine Doctrine and Devotion (Catholic / Orthodox Caucus)
Radio Replies First Volume - Devotion to Mary
The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Catholic Discovery of America(Catholic Caucus)

Mary is the star that guides us to holiness, says Holy Father during Angelus [Catholic Caucus]
The Efficacy and Power of One Hail Mary [Ecumenical]
When Did Belief in the Virgin Birth Begin?
Mary, Motherhood, and the Home BY Archbishop Fulton Sheen
On Mary, Mother of Priests
Benedict reflects on Mary and the priesthood [Catholic Caucus]
Radio Replies First Volume - Mary
Scholar says Baptists neglect lessons from Virgin Mary
Mary and the Sword Continued Part #2 by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
Mary and the Sword by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen(Catholic Caucus)

Why Did Mary Offer a Sin Offering? [Ecumenical]
Mary and Intercessory Prayer
Mary: Holy Mother
Mary not just for Catholics anymore
Pope concludes Month of Mary in the Vatican Gardens
Consecration to Mary(Catholic Caucus)
Mary’s Marching Orders
Praying the Hail Mary Like Never Before [Ecumenical]
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: The Catechism of St. Thomas Aquinas - THE HAIL MARY

Our Jewish Roots: The Immaculate Conception [Ecumenical]
The Blessed Virgin in the History of Christianity [Ecumenical]
Archbishop Sheen Today! -- Mary and the Moslems
Mary Immaculate: Patroness of the United States [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
"The Woman He Loved": Fulton Sheen and the Blessed Mother(Catholic Caucus)
September 12: The Most Holy Name of Mary and Militant Islam
Catholic Devotional: Feast of the Holy Name of Mary
A Homily on the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary
May Devotion: Blessed Virgin Mary
Catholic Caucus: Mary, The Power of Her Name [The Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary]

19 posted on 05/26/2012 9:52:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

May 2012

Pope's intentions

General Intention: The Family. That initiatives which defend and uphold the role of the family may be promoted within society. .

Missionary Intention: Mary, Guide of Missionaries. That Mary, Queen of the World and Star of Evangelization, may accompany all missionaries in proclaiming her Son Jesus.


20 posted on 05/26/2012 9:53:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY JN 15:26-27; 16:12-15
The beauty, truth, mystery of the Holy Spirit
By Fr. Jack Peterson

Jesus says something that must have been extremely difficult for His disciples to comprehend and accept at the end of His time walking this earth. At the Last Supper, Jesus states, “But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (Jn 16:7). I can’t imagine that Jesus’ disciples could possibly grasp the rational that after only three years of public ministry it would be better for them that He left this earth. In time they would come to understand the meaning of this promise. Today’s solemnity of Pentecost is the answer to that promise. Let’s ponder why this event is the grand conclusion of Jesus’ paschal mystery.

The coming of the Holy Spirit was absolutely critical to true belief in Jesus Christ. None of the followers of Jesus, including the apostles, came to the fullness of faith in Jesus until the Holy Spirit descended upon them like flames of fire 50 days after the Resurrection. Until then, their faith was real and significant, but it was not complete. True and full faith in Jesus requires the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul teaches us in his first letter to the Corinthians: “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” At Pentecost, the apostles came to a deep faith in Jesus, lived with conviction, preached with effectiveness, healed with power and spread the Faith with zeal.

Secondly, the Holy Spirit was a cause of unforeseen and much-needed unity. The Bible recounts early in the Book of Genesis the many effects of sin. In particular, through the story of the tower of Babel in Chapter 11, we learn that pride and sin led to the diversity of languages, which prevented men from communicating with one another and the dispersion around the world. A central point of the story is that sin leads to a profound lack of unity among God’s children.

It is a significant reality that on Pentecost, men and women from various lands, cultures and languages hear the apostles speak in their own tongues. The Holy Spirit forges a new unity among men. The forgiveness of sins and faith in the name of Jesus bring about an unexpected unity among the peoples of the world. The tragedy of Babel has been reversed.

Thirdly, the Holy Spirit was given to the Church for the preservation of the Faith that had been handed to her. Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit twice as “the Spirit of truth” in our Gospel this week. The Spirit is sent by the Father and by Jesus: “when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” Jesus had more to tell the disciples, but they were not ready to “bear it now.” The Spirit would help the apostles and their successors to recall the truth revealed by Christ, preserve it faithfully, hand it on effectively and apply it properly to new situations that come up over time. The Spirit is given to the Church to make sure that she never formally teaches anything that is in contradiction to the will of the Father.

Finally, the Holy Spirit is the love of God, the love that exists between the Father and the Son. That love has been poured into our hearts to heal, inspire and transform. The sequence for Pentecost begs: “Heal our wounds, our strength renew; on our dryness pour your dew; wash the stains of guilt away, bend the stubborn heart and will; melt the frozen, warm the chill; guide the steps that go astray.”

My brothers and sisters in Christ, we stand this day before a most profound and important mystery of the Christian faith. In truth, we cannot adequately or worthily put into words the real beauty and truth of this moment in salvation history. Yet, we do come before God and we humbly ask that He: (1) Stir into flame the gift of the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts in baptism and confirmation; (2) make our faith grow deep as the oceans; (3) be our source of unity in the midst of a broken, divided world; and (4) bend the stubborn heart and will of everyone who claims the name Christian.

Fr. Peterson is assistant chaplain at Marymount University in Arlington and director of the Youth Apostles Institute in McLean.


21 posted on 05/26/2012 10:01:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Work of God

 The Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, shall give testimony of me. Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year B

 -  Pentecost Sunday

The Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, shall give testimony of me.

The Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, shall give testimony of me. Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit John 15:26-27 16:12-15

26 But when the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he shall give testimony of me.
27 And you shall give testimony, because you are with me from the beginning.
16:12-15
12 I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now.
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things so ever he shall hear, he shall speak; and the things that are to come, he shall show you.
14 He shall glorify me; because he shall receive of mine, and shall show it to you.
15 All things whatsoever the Father has, are mine. Therefore I said, that he shall receive of mine, and show it to you.

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Pentecost Sunday - The Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, shall give testimony of me. I told you before, that I would have to leave you, but I would not leave you orphans, I promised to send the Advocate, the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit who is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity.

Well, I have given you my mother to be your mother also, since She has been chosen to be the Mother of all the children of God. I have given you also the Church as your mother, to be an image of your Heavenly Mother and to look after you. I have made you my disciples and apostles, and you need power from on high to fulfill your mission, therefore I have made a new creation.

My children, you have become temples of my Holy Spirit, God bearers, God’s witnesses, therefore you have the Holy Spirit to guide you and to lead you to the understanding of the whole truth. I am no longer personally with you as I was during my thirty three years on earth, but I am God, and after having given instructions to my apostles and after giving testimony of the Power of God by miracles never seen before, I have returned to the Glory which is mine from the beginning of time, I have ascended to my heavenly state where I am preparing a place for your souls.

I am Spirit, and in the Omnipotence of My presence I remain with you in Spirit and in Truth. By becoming temples of my Spirit, you permit me to come and speak to you. By your surrender to my love you accept me and become part of me, therefore fulfilling my desire.

My Holy Spirit will give my testimony to you, by speaking to your hearts, by revealing the truth and granting you the strength to remain in the faith.

Even though my Church is made up by human beings who are subject to the weaknesses of the flesh, I embrace it with my Light and protect it until the end of times. I keep it true to my teachings by the power of the Holy Spirit and I remain faithful to it, in my word and in the sacraments, granting my blessings to all who come with a thirsty soul to drink the living waters of my Spirit.

To experience the Presence of my Spirit in your hearts, you must come to me with a humble and contrite heart, surrender your souls to my love, desire to be with me and to listen to me, and the Holy Spirit will come to you.

The Holy Spirit will teach you to live by my word, He will remind you constantly to abide in my commandments of love, He will reveal to you the secrets of holiness, He will help you to grow in faith, hope and love.

Be always small in the Presence of God, be humble of heart and desire to be holy; be kind to everyone, forgive constantly so that my Peace may remain in your hearts, pray for the fire of the Holy Spirit to keep the flame of your faith burning constantly.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


22 posted on 05/26/2012 10:05:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

What a wondrous and challenging feast we celebrate at Pentecost. A feast like this challenges us, because it puts to the lie a lazy, sleepy, hidden, and tepid Christian life.

The Lord Jesus had said to Apostles, and still says to us: I have come to cast a fire on the earth! (Luke 12:49). This is a feast about fire, about a transformative, refining, and purifying fire that the Lord wants to kindle in us and in this world.

The Holy Spirit comes to quicken the Church, give her courage and get her to step out on her mission to bring Christ to the ends of the earth.

The Church is not a mere clubhouse, she is a light house, and the fire with which she is meant to shine is the Holy Spirit himself. In the readings today we find about 120 people all huddled, still in fear, in an upper room. Today, the Church breaks the huddle and executes the play, the locked doors fly open and she goes forth, unto all the nations.

The Readings today speak to us of the Holy Spirit in three ways: The Portraits of the Spirit, the Proclamation of the Spirit and the Propagation by the Spirit. Let’s look at all three.

I. The Power of the Spirit – The Reading today speaks of the Holy Spirit using two images: rushing wind, and tongues of fire. Both these images speak of how the Lord empowers the individual and the Church with new life and passionate intensity. These two images also recall Psalm 50 which says, Our God comes, he does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, round about him a mighty tempest. (Psalm 50:3).

Rushing Wind – Notice how the text from Acts opens: When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.

This text brings us to the very root meaning of the word “Spirit.” For “spirit” refers to “breath,” and we have this preserved in our word “respiration,” which means breathing. So, the Spirit of God is the breath of God, the Ruah Adonai (the Spirit, the breath of God).

Genesis 1:2 speaks of this saying the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. And Genesis 2:7 speaks even more remarkably of something God did only for man, not the animals: then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Gen 2:7).

So the very Spirit of God was breathed into Adam! But, as we know, Adam lost this gift and died spiritually when he sinned.

Thus we see in this passage from Acts an amazing and wonderful resuscitation of the human person as these first Christians (120 in all) experience the rushing wind of God’s Spirit breathing spiritual life back into them. God does C.P.R. and brings humanity, dead in sin, back to life! The Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us once again as in a temple (cf 1 Cor 3:16). It has been said that Christmas is the feast of God with us, Good Friday is the Feast of God for us, but Pentecost is the Feast of God in us.

Tongues of Fire – The text from Acts says, Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.

The Bible often speaks of God as fire, or in fiery terms. Moses saw God as a burning bush. God led the people out of Egypt through the desert as a pillar of fire. Moses went up on to a fiery Mt. Sinai where God was. Psalm 97 says, The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about. His lightnings lighten the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory. (Ps 97:1-6). Scriptures call God a Holy fire, a consuming fire (cf Heb 12:29) and a refining fire (cf Is. 48:10; Jer 9:7; Zec 13:9; & Mal 3:3).

And so it is that our God, who is a Holy Fire, comes to dwell in us through his Holy Spirit. And as a Holy Fire, He refines us by burning away our sins and purifying us. As Job once said, But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold (Job 23:10).

And he is also preparing us for judgement, for if God is a Holy Fire, then who may endure the day of his coming or of our going to Him? What can endure the presence of Fire Himself? Only that which is already fire. Thus we must be set afire by God’s love.

So, in the coming of the Holy Spirit God sets us on fire to make us a kind of fire. In so doing, he purifies and prepares us to meet him one, He who is a Holy Fire.

This fire also causes us to burn with passionate intensity for God and for his kingdom. Our hearts are set afire with zeal for God and zeal for souls. With joy, holy love and burning zeal we are equipped to speak to others of God and manifest the intense love of God.

Fire changes everything it touches and we are sent forth as a holy fire into this world so that, by God grace the whole world will be changed by the spreading fire of God, the Holy Spirit.

Who or what have you set on fire lately? Let the Lord use you to cast fire on the earth.

II. The Proof of the Spirit. - You will notice that the Spirit Came on them like “tongues” of Fire. And the reference to tongues is no mere accident. For notice how the Holy Spirit moves them to speak, and ultimately to witness. The text says: And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.”

So behold how the Holy Spirit moves them to proclaim, not just in the safety of the upper room, but also in holy boldness before the crowds who have gathered.

Notice the transformation! Moments ago these were frightened people who gathered only behind locked doors, in secrecy. They were huddled together in fear. But now they go forth to the crowds and boldly proclaim Christ. They have gone from fear to faith, from cowardice to courage, from terror to testimony!

And how about us? Too many Christians are silent, dominated by fear. Perhaps they fear being called names, or not being popular. Perhaps they are anxious about being laughed at, or resisted, or of being asked questions they don’t feel capable of answering. Some Christians are able to gather in the “upper room” of the parish and be active, even be leaders. But once outside the “upper room” they slip into undercover mode. They become secret agent Christians.

Well, the Holy Spirit wants to change that, and to the degree that we have really met Jesus Christ and experienced his Holy Spirit we are less “able” to keep silent. An old Gospel song says, I thought I wasn’t gonna testify, but I couldn’t keep it to myself, what the Lord has done for me. The Holy Spirit, if authentically received, wants to give us zeal and joy, and burn away our fear, so that testifying and witnessing are natural to us.

Note also how the Spirit “translates” for the apostles, for the crowd before them spoke different languages, but all heard Peter and the others in their own language. The Spirit therefore assists not only us, but also those who hear us. My testimony is not dependent only on my eloquence, but also on the grace of the Holy Spirit who casts out deafness and opens hearts. Every Christian should remember this. Some of our most doubtful encounters with others can still bear great fruit on account of the work of the Holy Spirit who “translates” for us and overcomes many obstacles that we might think insurmountable.

III. The Pattern of the Spirit – In the great commission the Lord said, Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age (Matt 28:19ff). He also said, as we have noted, I have come to cast a fire on the earth and How I wish the blaze were already ignited (Luke 12:49).

But how is the Lord going to do this?

Perhaps a picture will help. My parish church is dedicated to the Holy Spirit under the title: Holy Comforter. Above the high altar is the Latin inscription: Spiritus Domini, replevit orbem terrarum (The Spirit of the Lord, filled the orb of the earth). (See photo, above right, of our high altar).

And yet, we may wonder how He will do this.

But the walls of my parish Church answer the question. The clerestory walls are painted Spanish Red, and upon this great canvas are also painted the lives of 20 saints, surrounding us like a great cloud of witnesses (cf Heb 12:1). (See also, video below). And over the head of every saint is a tongue of fire.

THIS is how the Spirit of the Lord fills the earth. It is not “magic fairy dust,” it is in the fiery transformation of every Christian, going forth into the world to bring light and warmth to a dark and cold world. THIS is how the Lord casts fire on earth, THIS is how the Spirit of the Lord fills the orb of the earth: in the lives of saints, and, if you are prepared to accept it, in YOU.

In the end, the Great Commission (Matt 28) is “standing order No. 1.” No matter what else, we are supposed to do this. Parishes do not deserve to exist if they do not do this. We as individual Christians are a disgrace, and not worthy of the name, if we fail to win souls for Jesus Christ. The Spirit of the Lord is going to fill the orb of the earth, but only through us. The spread of the Gospel has been placed in your hands (scary isn’t it?).

Two years ago, my own parish, after a year of training, stepped out into our neighborhood, and went door to door and into the local park. And we announced Jesus Christ to over 1500 homes, and invited people to discover him in our parish, and in the sacraments. We have also taken our May procession to the Local Park. This year we have been doing one on one Evangelization and have made the commitment to the Lord to strive to bring one soul back to his house and the Sacraments. This fall we are heading into the park to do Eucharistic flash mobs (see video below).

Before we count even a single convert, this is already success because we are obeying Jesus Christ who said, simply, “Go!” “Go make disciples.” And, truth be told, we ARE seeing an increase in my parish. Our Sunday attendance has grown from about 450 to 520, a 15% increase. We are growing, and our attendance, while average for a downtown city parish, is going in the right direction. God never fails. God is faithful.

Spread the news: it works if you work it, so work it because God is worth it. Go make disciples. Ignore what the pollsters tell you about a declining Church and let the Lord cast a fire on the earth through you! Fires have way of spreading! Why not start one today? The Spirit of God will not disappoint.

I know this, my parish has a future because we are obeying Jesus Christ, we are making disciples. How about you and yours? If parishes do not obey, they do not deserve to exist and can expect to close one day, no matter how big they are today. I, in my short 50 years on this planet, have seen it: parishes once big, booming, and, (frankly), arrogant, are now declining and some are near closure. It happens to the best, if they do not evangelize, if they do not accomplish “Job 1.” The Lord wants to light a fire. Why not become totally fire? Let the Spirit propagate the Church through you (I am not talking about the person next to you, I am talking to you).

Happy feast of Pentecost. But don’t forget that the basic image is very challenging, for it means getting out of the “upper room,” opening the doors, and proclaiming Christ to the world. Let the Holy Spirit light a fire in you, and then, you can’t help but spread light and heat to a cold and dark world.

Let the evangelization of the whole world begin with you.

This video features details from the clerestory (upper window level) of my parish of Holy Comforter here in DC. Notice the tongue of fire above each saint. The paintings show how the Spirit of the Lord fills the orb of the earth, (see photo above), through the lives of the lives of the saints (this means you). It is not magic, it is grace, working in your life, through your gifts, and your relationships, that the Lord will reach each soul. The cloud of witnesses on the walls of my Church say simply, You are the way he will fill the earth and set it on fire. Let the blaze be ignited in you!

The song says: We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, looking on, encouraging us to do the will of the Lord. Let us stand worthy, and be faithful to God’s call….We must not grow weary…!


23 posted on 05/26/2012 10:27:18 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Gospel Reflections

Pentecost Sunday
Reading I:
Acts 2:1-11 II: 1Cor 12:3-7,12-13
Gospel
John 20:19-23

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you".
20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."


Interesting Details
  • John did not mention by what means Jesus came into the room, but simply stated the fact that he was present among the disciples to indicate the spiritual qualities of the resurrected body of Jesus.
  • The greeting that Jesus said to his disciples: "Peace be with you" means more than: "May you be saved from trouble." It means "May God give you every good thing." Also peace is considered a divine gift promised in the Old Testament for the coming days of deliverance.
  • He showed them his hands and his side. This is the only explicit evidence from the Gospel that Jesus was nailed rather than tied to the cross.
  • He breathed on them. This indicates the giving of new life, just as in the Book of Genesis, God created man by breathing life into him.
  • The last sentence lays down the duty of the Church to convey forgiveness to those repent from their hearts and to warn the impenitent that they are forfeiting the mercy of God. This is also considered as the origin of the sacrament of penance and baptism.

One Main Point

The resurrected Christ confers upon his disciples, hence the Church , the mission to continue his work of bringing God's salvation to all mankind. In order to carry on the task that he had accomplished, Jesus empowered the Church with his Holy Spirit who would be the living force and guidance in propagating God's message.


Reflections
  1. Visualize ourselves as the disciples in the Upper room, in a state of fearfulness and doubt about what had happened. How do we feel when Jesus appear to us?
  2. Relive the moment when Jesus breathed his Holy Spirit on the disciples and instructed them to go out and proclaim his Good News. How do we make his love known in our world today?

24 posted on 05/26/2012 10:33:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday, May 27, 2010
Pentecost Sunday (Solemnity)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Acts 2:1-11
Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34
1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13 or Galatians 5:16-25
John 20:19-23 or John 15:26-27; John 16:12-15;

Prayer is to our soul what rain is to the soil. Fertilize the soil ever so richly, it will remain barren unless fed by frequent rains.

-- St John Vianney


25 posted on 05/26/2012 10:36:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: All
Pentecost

Pentecost


Pentecost - Duccio di Buoninsegna (1308) Tempera on wood
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena

Spiritus Dómini replévit orbem terrárum, et hoc quod continet ómnia sciéntiam habet vocis, Alleluia.

The Spirit of the Lord fills the whole world, and holds all things together and knows every word spoken by man, Alleluia.

(Wisdom 1:7 - Entrance Antiphon for Mass for Pentecost. )


Catechism & Reflection of Blessed Pope John XXIII - Mass Readings - Hymns - The Seven Gifts & Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Family Celebration of Pentecost page - Pentecost Prayer page -- Novena to the Holy Spirit Brochure -- Links to June 4, 2006 Pentecost Page on the Vatican Website -- Pentecost, Regina Caeli Message, May 23, 2010 Links to the Vatican

 

The Church celebrates Pentecost (so called because it is fifty days after Easter Day) as the day on which the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, gathered in an upper room with Mary, mother of Jesus, "as a mighty, rushing wind," fulfilling Jesus' promise when He "breathed on them," as recorded in John's Gospel (Chapter 20).

This event, which marks the beginning of the Church, is recorded in the book of Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 2. The 14th-century Siennese painting by Duccio (above) illustrates the moment when the Bible says the Spirit descended upon the gathering of Christians in the form of tongues of fire. The liturgical color for Pentecost is red, a reminder of the flames that "rested on them." Another symbol for the Holy Spirit is the dove, usually emitting golden rays of light.

The Holy Spirit gave the apostles gifts of grace through which they would undertake the evangelical mission of the Church. On the day of Pentecost, the apostles were given the miraculous "gift of tongues" -- so that everyone from every country understood the Christians' inspired message of salvation as if they were hearing it in their own languages. Thousands were converted by the preaching of Peter and the other apostles.

Called Whitsunday (white Sunday) in England, for the white garments worn by confirmands (candidates for Confirmation), Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks, originated as a Jewish festival fifty days (seven weeks) after Passover.

The Solemnity of Pentecost ends the Easter season. After Pentecost, the Easter candle is kept in the baptistery or near the baptismal font, and is lighted only for a baptism. For centuries, the Sundays of the Catholic Church year between Pentecost and Advent were numbered as "after Pentecost". Since the Second Vatican Council, this period is called "Ordinary Time" (the first period of Ordinary Time is that between the Epiphany and Lent). Three solemnities are celebrated in the weeks immediately following Pentecost: Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi (The Body and Blood of Christ), and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Pentecost
from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

731. On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ's Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a Divine Person: of His fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance.

1076.
The Church was made manifest to the world on the day of Pentecost by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Spirit ushers in a new era in the "dispensation of the mystery" -- the Age of the Church, during which Christ manifests, makes present, and communicates His work of salvation through the Liturgy of His Church, "until He comes." In this age of the Church Christ now lives and acts in and with His Church, in a new way appropriate to this new age. He acts through the Sacraments in what the common Tradition of the East and the West calls "the sacramental economy"; this is the communication (or "dispensation") of the fruits of Christ's Paschal mystery in the celebration of the Church's "sacramental" Liturgy.

See Catechism Chapter 3, "I believe in the Holy Spirit" (§§683- 747)


Reflection of Pope John XXIII on Pentecost


At the Feast of Pentecost I take the sacred Book in my hands and turn eagerly to the first page of the Old Testament, and then to the first page of the New. The first page of the Old Testament describes the creation of the world, saying that "the Spirit of God was moving on the waters." This refers to the whole universe, the seas and land masses, the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms: a triple realm, a manifold order; and it refers also to the governments of men, of races, peoples and tribes, inspired and moved by energies common to all mankind, and to the history of humanity slowly evolving through the centuries according to a Divine plan.

All nature, then, belongs to the temporal order, but always in the sight of God and subject to His power.

And now we turn to the first page of the Gospel, the New Testament, which begins with the sound of an angel's voice: "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God... You will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus."

With this announcement to Mary there begins the epic of Redemption, which has Christ for its all-radiant Sun, the source of divine life and sanctifying grace.

The Hymns of Pentecost

Veni Sancte Spiritus - Veni Creator Spiritus

Come, Holy Spirit - Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest

The Latin hymn Veni Sancte Spiritus (Come, Holy Spirit) is the "Sequence" (the hymn before the Gospel) for Pentecost Sunday. The words of this hymn are attributed to Pope Innocent III (c. 1160-1216). Either the original Latin chant or the English version may be sung before the Gospel on Pentecost.

The even more ancient hymn Veni Creator Spiritus (Come Holy Ghost, Creator blest) is frequently sung on Pentecost. The verses are ascribed to Rabanus Maurus (776-856), and were set to a chant tune. These Latin verses have been translated into English verse in various versions, including the familiar hymn "Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blest", a 19th-century rendering by Edward Caswall (1814-1878), who also did a translation of the Veni Sancte Spiritus. ("Ghost" is another English word for "Spirit", stemming from the German "geist", while "spirit" is from the Latin.)

When a Latin hymn is translated, it is usually done in metrical form so that it can be set to music; thus although the translations are not literal (or word-for-word), and the rhythm may not be precisely the same, the translator aims to maintain both the essential meaning and poetic verse-form of the original.

The text of both Pentecost hymns, in Latin and English, appears below. (Note: The Adoremus Hymnal gives the Edward Caswall translation and Samuel Webbe tune for Veni Sancte Spiritus (p 444); and the Veni Creator Spiritus in both Latin and English versions (pp 441, 442-443).

Veni Creator Spiritus

Veni, Creator Spiritus,
Mentes tuorum visita;
Implesuperna graatia
Quae tu creasti pectora.

Qui diceris Paraclitus,
Donum Dei altissimi,
Fons vivus, ignis caritas,
Et spiritalis unctio.

Tu septiformis munere,
Dextræ Dei tu digitus,
Tu rite promissum Patris,
Sermone ditans guttura.

Accende lumen sensibus,
Infunde amorum cordibus,
Infirma nostri corporis
Virtute firmans perpeti.

Hostem repellas longius,
Pacemque dones protinus;
Ductore sic te prævio,
Vitemus omne noxium.

Per te sciamus da Patrem,
Noscamus atque Filium,
Te utriusque Spiritum
Credamus omni tempore.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
Et Filio, quia mortuis,
Surrexit ac Paraclito,
In sæculorum sæcula. Amen

Attributed to Romanus Mauros

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
Vouchsafe within our souls to rest;
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
And fill the souls which Thou hast made.

O Comforter, to Thee we cry,
To Thee, the Gift of God Most High,
The font of life, and fire of love,
And sweet anointing from above.

The sevenfold gifts of grace are Thine,
O finger of the hand Divine,
True promise of the Father, Thou,
Who dost the tongue with speech endow.

Thy light to every thought impart
And shed Thy love in every heart;
The weakness of our mortal state
With deathless might invigorate.

Drive far away our wily Foe,
And Thine abiding peace bestow;
If Thou be our protecting Guide,
No evil can our steps betide.

Through Thee may we the Father learn,
And know the Son, and Thee discern,
Who art of both; and thus adore
In perfect faith forevermore.

Praise we the Father and the Son
And Holy Spirit, Three in One;
And may the Son on us bestow
The gifts that from the Spirit flow. Amen

Translation: Edward Caswall


Veni Sancte Spiritus

Veni, Sancte Spiritus,
et emítte caélitus
lucis tuae rádium.

Veni, pater páuperum,
veni, dator múnerum,
veni, lumen córdium.

Consolator óptime,
dulcis hospes animae.
dulce refrigerium.

In labóre réquies,
in aestu tempéries,
in fletu solácium.

O lux beatíssima,
reple cordis íntima
tuórum fidélium.

Sine tuo númine,
nihil est in hómine,
nihil est innoxium.

Lava quod est sórdidum,
riga quod est áridum,
sana quod est sáucium.

Flecte quod est rígidum,
fove quod est frigidum,
rege quod est devium.

Da tuis fidélibus,
in te confidéntibus,
sacrum septenárium.

Da virtútis méritum
da salútis éxitum,
da perénne gáudium.
Amen. Alleluia

- Attributed to Pope Leo III

Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from Thy celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!

Come Father of the poor!
Come source of all our store!
Come within our bosoms shine!

Thou, of comforters the best;
Thou, the soul's most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;

In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat,
Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light divine
Shine within these hearts of Thine.
And our inmost being fill!

Where you are not, man has naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour Thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sev'nfold gift descend;

Give them virtue's sure reward;
Give them Thy salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end.
Amen. Alleluia


Scripture readings for Pentecost

Vigil

Collect:
Almighty ever-living God,
who willed the Paschal Mystery
to be encompassed as a sign in fifty days,
grant that from our of the scattered nations
the confusion of many tongues
may be gathered by heavenly grace
into one great confession of your name.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

or

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that the splendor of your glory
may shine forth upon us
and that, by the light may confirm the hearts
of those born again by your grace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading:
Genesis 11:1-9

Now the whole earth had one language and few words. And as men migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

or
Exodus 19:3-8a, 16-20b

And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine, and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."

So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the Lord had commanded him. And all the people answered together and said, "All that the Lord has spoken we will do." And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord.

On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God; and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. And Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

or
Ezekiel 37:1-14

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; it was full of bones. And He led me round among them; and behold, there were very many upon the valley; and lo, they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" And I answered, "O Lord God, thou knowest." Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord."

So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And as I looked, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live." So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great host.

Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, 'Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.' Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you home into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done it, says the Lord."

or
Joel 3:1-5

The word of the Lord that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel: Hear this, you aged men, give ear, all inhabitants of the land! Has such a thing happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers? Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. What the cutting locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the hopping locust has eaten, and what the hopping locust left, the destroying locust has eaten. Awake, you drunkards, and weep; and wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the sweet wine, for it is cut off from your mouth.

Second Reading:
Romans 8:22-27

We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Gospel Reading:
John 7:37-39

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, "If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, 'Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.'" Now this He said about the Spirit, which those who believed in Him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Pentecost Day

Collect:
O God, who by the mystery of today's great feast
sanctify your whole Church in every people and nation,
pour out, we pray, the gifts of the Holy Spirit
across the face of the earth
and, with the divine grace that was at work
when the Gospel was first proclaimed,
fill now once more the hearts of believers.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading:

Acts 2: 1-11 [Year A,B,C]
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God."

Second Reading:
I Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13 [Year A,B,C]

No one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

or

Galatians 5:16-25 [Year B]

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Romans 8:8-17 [Year C]

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him. But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through His Spirit which dwells in you.

So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh — for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is the Spirit Himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.

Gospel Reading:
John 20:19-23 [Year A,B,C]

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When He had said this,
He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

or

John 15:26-27;16:12-15[Year B]

But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.

"I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that He will take what is mine and declare it to you.

John 14:15-16, 23b-26 [Year C]

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever.

"If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me. "These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

(Readings from Revised Standard Version - Catholic edition)

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Wisdom - Understanding - Counsel
Fortitude - Knowledge - Piety
Fear of the Lord

"There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. " (Isaiah 11:1-3)

The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. These are permanent dispositions which make man docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit (CCC §1830)

 

The Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Charity - Joy - Peace - Patience - Kindness - Goodness
Generosity - Gentleness - Faithfulness - Modesty - Self-control - Chastity

 

The Catechism tells us that "the fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory" (§1832)

Family Celebration of Pentecost page - Pentecost Prayer page


27 posted on 05/27/2012 8:12:41 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Family Celebration of Pentecost

Family Celebration of Pentecost

"On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ's Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a Divine Person: of His fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance." (Catechism of the Catholic Church §731)

This is truly an occasion for a celebration! And there has been a long tradition of special celebrations and feasting on Pentecost.

"Arthur, the good King of Britain, whose prowess teaches us that we, too, should be brave and courteous, held a rich and royal court upon that precious feast day which is always known by the name of Pentecost."

Yvain, Chrétien de Troyes (trans. W.W.Comfort)

Although festive observance of this "precious feast day" (other than at Mass) has nearly disappeared in our culture, it is a tradition that we think is long overdue for revival in Catholic homes today.

In many places, Confirmation takes place on Pentecost -- often at the Cathedral with many children being confirmed at the same time. If there is a Confirmation in your family, there will, of course, be a special celebration of the occasion.

Unlike Christmas or Easter, however, with their familiar narratives and many customs and symbols from many cultures and regions -- and perhaps because it is not really possible to visualize the Holy Spirit -- Pentecost is not as easy to explain to young children as holidays like Christmas and Easter.

The great liturgist and pastor Monsignor Martin Hellriegel told of the customs for celebrating the feast of Pentecost in his family in Heppenheim, Germany when he was growing up. This practice could easily be imitated by Catholic families today.

"Pentecost was another special occasion for the Hellriegel family. As on each major feast day, the family dinner was served with the best linen and silverware. The centerpiece for this day was a large candle as a symbol of the Spirit with red streamers going to each place at the table. The streamer going to the place of the father was of double width, indicating his role as head of the family. Seven large rosebuds represented the seven gifts of the Spirit."

Martin B. Hellriegel: Pastoral Liturgist , Noel Hackmann Barrett.
St. Louis, 1990. Bureau of the Catholic Central Union of America

 

(Monsignor Hellriegel came to the United States in 1906, at the age of fifteen, where he studied for the priesthood. As longtime pastor of Holy Cross in St. Louis, he deepened the appreciation of all his parishioners for the feasts and seasons of the liturgical year, teaching the entire parish to sing Gregorian Chant at Sunday Masses and respond to the prayers of the Mass before this became common practice. He also initiated the revival of the Easter Vigil in the United States.)

The Hellriegel family's celebration of Pentecost can be an inspiration for our own festivities.

 

The Pentecost Cake

Pentecost is really the birth day of the Church. Children do understand birthdays -- and birthday cakes! Why not ask them to help make a special cake for Pentecost -- with candles and decorations?

The cake can be a home-made or store-bought layer cake with white icing. (The ruffle shown surrounding the cake can be purchased from a bakery.)

The central large candle represents Christ our Light, who promised to send the Holy Spirit. It is surrounded by twelve white birthday candles, representing the apostles receiving the Holy Spirit as tongues of fire. (Note: the large candle can be an ordinary 8" taper.)

The seven hearts (icing or candy) and seven red ribbons radiating from the cake represent the gifts of the Holy Spirit. (The hearts could be replaced by red icing roses.)

Twelve strawberries (or red cherries) represent the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit.

If the children help decorate, this is an ideal time to review with them the seven gifts and twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Before the cake is cut, let all the children blow out the candles "with a mighty rushing wind"!

Serve the cake with vanilla ice cream with strawberries or raspberry topping to carry out the red and white theme.

Alternative: If the cake project seems too ambitious, a bouquet of a dozen red roses (representing the twelve apostles and the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit) would be a lovely centerpiece. Surround the bouquet with twelve votive candles or tea lights, if possible. A red tablecloth could be used, with seven flame-shapes cut from white paper, each labeled with one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, written with red marker and placed around the centerpiece.

Other suggestions:

  • Say the collect (opening prayer) for Pentecost before the blessing before the meal. (see Pentecost Prayers page)
  • Say the short Prayer for Pentecost (see Pentecost Prayers page) at the noon meal after reciting the Regina Caeli., which replaces the Angelus from Easter through Pentecost.
  • Begin the Novena to the Holy Spirit (also on the Pentecost Prayers page) today.
  • Have the younger children cut out seven "flame" shapes from red paper and write the names of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (see Pentecost main page). Explain what each "gift" means, and ask for examples of how these gifts are needed in living the Christian life according to God's will. Use these flames as table decorations, and afterwards, tape them to the refrigerator or the back door until the children learn them all.
  • Ask older children to read aloud passages from the Catechism or other special prayers before bed time.

28 posted on 05/27/2012 8:22:49 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pentecost Prayers

Pentecost Prayers

Collect for Pentecost | Prayer to the Holy Spirit | Novena to the Holy Spirit Brochure |Letanía Del Espíritu Santo | Rey Celeste / Heavenly King

 Verses for a Pentecost Novena by St. Edith Stein

Collect for Pentecost

Father of light, from whom every good gift comes,
send Your Spirit into our lives with the power of a mighty wind,
and by the flame of Your wisdom open the horizons of our minds.
Loosen our tongues to sing Your praise in words beyond the power of speech,
for without Your Spirit man could never raise his voice in words of peace
or announce the truth that Jesus is Lord,
who lives with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love. Amen.
(Pope Pius X, May 8, 1907).

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy spirit, and they shall be created.
R. and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray. O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us by the same Holy Spirit to have right judgment in all things and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Letanía Del Espíritu Santo
(Litany to the Holy Spirit-Spanish)


Señor, -- Tened piedad de nosotros.
Jesucristo,
Señor,
Dios, Padre celestial,
Dios, Hijo, Redentor del mundo,
Dios, Espíritu Santo,
Trinidad Santa, que sois un solo Dios,
Divina Esencia, Dios verdadero y único,
Espíritu de verdad y de sabiduría,
Espíritu de santidad y de justicia,
Espíritu de entendimiento y de consejo,
Espíritu de caridad y de gozo,
Espíritu de paz y de paciencia,
Espíritu de longanimidad y mansedumbre,
Espíritu de benignidad y de bondad,
Amor substancial del Padre y del Hijo,
Amor y vida de las almas santas,
Fuego siempre ardiendo,
Aqua viva que apagáis la sed de los corazones,

De todo mal, -- Libradnos Espíritu Santo.
De toda impureza de alma y cuerpo,
De toda gula y sensualidad,
De todo afecto a los bienes terrenos,
De todo afecto a cosas y a criaturas,
De toda hipocresía y fingimiento,
De toda imperfección y faltas deliberadas,
Del amor propio y juicio propio,
De la propia voluntad,
De la murmuración,
De la doblez a nuestros prójimos,
De nuestras pasiones y apetitos desordenados,
De no estar atentos a vuestra inspiración Santa,
Del desprecio a las cosas pequeñas,
De la glotonería y malicia,
De todo regalo y comodidad,
De querer buscar o desear algo que no seáis Vos,
De todo lo que te desagrade,
De todo pecado e imperfección y de todo mal,

Padre amantísimo, -- Perdónanos.

Divino Verbo, -- Ten misericordia de nosotros.

Santo y Divino Espíritu, -- No nos dejes hasta ponernos en la posesión de la Divina Escencia, Cielo de los cielos.

Cordero de Dios, que borras los pecados del mundo, -- Enviadnos al divino Consolador.

Cordero de Dios, que borras los pecados del mundo, -- Llenadnos de los dones de vuestro espíritu.

Cordero de Dios, que borras los pecados del mundo, -- Haced que crezcan en nosotros los frutos del Espíritu Santo.

Ven, ¡oh Santo Espíritu!, llena los corazones de tus fieles y enciende en ellos el fuego de tu amor.

V. Envía tu Espíritu y todo será creado.
R. Y se renovará la faz de la tierra.

Oremos.
¡Oh Dios!, que habéis instruido los corazones de los fieles con la luz del Espíritu Santo,
concedednos, según el mismo Espíritu,
conocer las cosas rectas
y gozar siempre de sus divinos consuelos.
Por Jesucristo, Señor nuestro. R. Amén

Rey Celeste

Rey celeste,
Espíritu Consolador, Espíritu de Verdad,
que estás presente en todas partes y lo llenas todo,
tesoro de todo bien y fuente de la vida,
ven, habita en nosotros,
purifícanos y sálvanos,
Tú que eres bueno. + Amen.

-----------

Heavenly King

Heavenly King,
Spirit of Consolation; Spirit of Truth,
Thou who art present everywhere and the fulfillment of everything,
treasury of all goodness and font of life,
Come Thou, dwell within us,
purify us and save us,
Thou who art good. + Amen.


Pope Leo XIII

Prayer for the Church, Priests and Bishops

O Holy Spirit, we humbly implore Thee to help the Catholic Church, and by Thy supernal power, strengthen and confirm it against the assaults of the enemy. By your charity and grace, renew the spirit of Thy servants whom Thou hast anointed, that in Thee they may glorify the Father and His only begotten Son, our Lord. Amen. (Pope Leo XIII, August 26, 1889)

Holy Spirit, Spirit of Truth

Holy Spirit, Spirit of Truth, come into our hearts; give to all peoples the brightness of Thy light, that they may be pleasing to Thee in the unity of faith. Amen. (Pope Leo XIII, July 31, 1897)

St. Edith Stein Verses for a Pentecost Novena


29 posted on 05/27/2012 8:28:20 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Regina Coeli

 

This prayer, which dates from the twelfth century, is substituted for the Angelus during Easter Season.

Glory to God in the highest!

In Latin

In English

Regina coeli, laetare, alleluia: Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia. Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

 

V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, Alleluia,

R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

 

Oremus: Deus qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus, ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.

R. Amen.

Queen of Heaven rejoice, alleluia: For He whom you merited to bear, alleluia, Has risen as He said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia.

 

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.

R. Because the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.

 

Let us pray: O God, who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, granted joy to the whole world: grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may lay hold of the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.


30 posted on 05/27/2012 1:27:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
John
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  John 7
37 And on the last, and great day of the festivity, Jesus stood and cried, saying: If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink. In novissimo autem die magno festivitatis stabat Jesus, et clamabat dicens : Si quis sitit, veniat ad me et bibat. εν δε τη εσχατη ημερα τη μεγαλη της εορτης ειστηκει ο ιησους και εκραξεν λεγων εαν τις διψα ερχεσθω προς με και πινετω
38 He that believeth in me, as the scripture saith, Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. Qui credit in me, sicut dicit Scriptura, flumina de ventre ejus fluent aquæ vivæ. ο πιστευων εις εμε καθως ειπεν η γραφη ποταμοι εκ της κοιλιας αυτου ρευσουσιν υδατος ζωντος
39 Now this he said of the Spirit which they should receive, who believed in him: for as yet the Spirit was not given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. Hoc autem dixit de Spiritu, quem accepturi erant credentes in eum : nondum enim erat Spiritus datus, quia Jesus nondum erat glorificatus. τουτο δε ειπεν περι του πνευματος ου εμελλον λαμβανειν οι πιστευοντες εις αυτον ουπω γαρ ην πνευμα αγιον οτι ιησους ουδεπω εδοξασθη

31 posted on 05/27/2012 2:53:04 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
37. In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink.
38. He that believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39. (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe in him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

CHRYS. The feast being over, and the people about to return home, our Lord gives them provisions for the way: On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to Me, and drink.

AUG. The feast was then going on, which is called scenopegia, i.e. building of tents.

CHRYS. Which lasted seven days. The first and last days were the most important; In the last day, that great day of the feast, says the Evangelist. Those between were given chiefly to amusements. He did not then make the offer on the first day, or the second, or the third, lest amidst the excitements that were going on, people should let it slip from their minds, He cried out, on account of the great multitude of people present.

THEOPHYL. To make Himself audible, inspire confidence in others, and show an absence of all fear in Himself.

CHRYS. If any thirsts: as if to say, I use no compulsion or violence: I but if any have the desire strong enough, let him come.

AUG. For there is an inner thirst, because there is an inner man: and the inner man of a certainty loves more than the outer. So then if we thirst, let us go not on our feet, but on our affections, not by change of place, but by love.

CHRYS. He is speaking of spiritual drink, as His next words show: He that believes in Me, as the Scripture truth said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But where here does the Scripture say this? No where. What then? We should read, He that believes in Me, as said the Scripture, putting the stop here; and then, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water: the meaning being, that that was a right kind of belief, which was formed on the evidence of Scripture, not of miracles. Search the Scriptures, he had said before.

JEROME. Or this testimony is taken from the Proverbs, where it is said, Let your fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.

AUG. The belly of the inner man, is the heart's conscience. Let him drink from that water, and his conscience is quickened and purified; he drinks in the whole fountain, nay, becomes the very fountain itself. But what is that fountain, and what is that river, which flows from the belly of the inner man? The love of his neighbor. If any one, who drinks of the water, thinks that it is meant to satisfy himself alone, out of his belly there does not flow living water. But if he does good to his neighbor, the stream is not dried up, but flows.

GREG. When sacred preaching flows from the soul of the faithful, rivers of living water, as it were, run down from the bellies of believers. For what are the entrails of the belly but the inner part of the mind; i.e. a right intention, a holy desire, humility towards God, mercy toward man.

CHRYS. He says, rivers, not river, to show the copious and overflowing power of grace: and living water, i.e. always moving; for when the grace of the Spirit has entered into and settled in the mind, it flows freer than any fountain, and neither fails, nor empties, nor stagnates. The wisdom of Stephen, the tongue of Peter, the strength of Paul, are evidences of this. Nothing hindered them; but, like impetuous torrents, they went on, carrying every thing along with them.

AUG. What kind of drink it was, to which our Lord invited them, the Evangelist next explains; But this He spoke of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive. Whom does the Spirit mean, but the Holy Spirit; For every man has within him his own spirit.

ALCUIN. He promised the Holy Spirit to the Apostles before the Ascension; He gave it to them in fiery tongues, after the Ascension. The Evangelist's words, Which they that believe in Him should receive, refer to this.

AUG. The Spirit of God was, i.e. was with God, before now; but was not yet given to those who believed on Jesus; for our Lord had determined not to give them the Spirit, till He was risen again: The Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.

CHRYS. The Apostles indeed cast out devils by the Spirit before, but only by the power which they had from Christ. For when He sent them, it is not said, He gave them the Holy Spirit, but, He gave to them power. With respect to the Prophets however, all agree that the Holy Spirit was given to them but this grace had been withdrawn from the world.

AUG. Yet we read of John the Baptist, He shall be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother's womb. And Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied. Mary was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied of our Lord. And so were Simeon and Anna, that they might acknowledge the greatness of the infant Christ. We are to understand then that the giving of the Holy Spirit was to be certain, after Christ's exaltation, in a way in which it never was before. It was to have a peculiarity at His coming, which it had not before. For we no where read of men under the influence of the Holy Spirit, speaking with tongues which they had never known, as then took place, when it was necessary to evidence His coming by sensible miracles.

AUG. If the Holy Spirit then is received now, why is there no one who speaks the tongues of all nations? Because now the Church herself speaks the tongues of all nations. Whoso is not in her, neither does he now receive the Holy Spirit. But if only you love unity, whoever has any thing in her, has it for you. Put away envy, and that which I have is yours. Envy separates, love unites: have it, and you have all things: whereas without it nothing that you can have, will profit you. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which its given to us. But why did our Lord give the Holy Spirit after His resurrection? That the flame of love might mount upwards to our own resurrection: separating us from the world, and devoting us wholly to God. He who said, He that believes in Me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water, has promised life eternal, free from all fear, and change, and death. Such then being the gifts which He promised to those in whom the Holy Spirit kindled the flame of love, He would not give that Spirit till He was glorified: in order that in His own person He might show us that life, which we hope to attain to in the resurrection.

AUG. If this then is the cause why the Holy Spirit was not yet given; viz. because Jesus was not yet glorified; doubtless, the glorification of Jesus when it took place, was the cause immediately of its being given. The Cataphryges, however, said that they first received the promised Paraclete, and thus strayed from the Catholic faith. The Manichaeans too apply all the promises made respecting the Holy Spirit to Manichaeus, as if there were no Holy Spirit given before.

CHRYS. Or thus; By the glory of Christ, He means the cross. For, whereas we were enemies, and gifts are not made to enemies, but to friends, it was necessary that the victim should be first offered up, and the enmity of the flesh removed; that, being made friends of God, we might be capable of receiving the gift.

Catena Aurea John 7
32 posted on 05/27/2012 2:53:46 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex


The Pentecost

Giotto di Bondone (ca. 1266 - 1337)

Assisi, Upper Basilica

33 posted on 05/27/2012 2:54:24 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: All
 
Catholic
Almanac:

Sunday, May 27

Liturgical Color: Red


Today is the Solemnity of Pentecost. "Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:3-4)


34 posted on 05/27/2012 3:59:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: May 27, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Almighty ever-living God, who willed the Paschal Mystery to be encompassed as a sign in fifty days, grant that from out of the scattered nations the confusion of many tongues may be gathered by heavenly grace into one great confession of your name. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Easter: May 27th

Pentecost Sunday

Old Calendar: Pentecost Sunday

"And when the days of Pentecost were drawing to a close, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a violent wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as of fire, which settled upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in foreign tongues, even as the Holy Spirit prompted them to speak" (Acts 2, 1-4).

Pentecost Sunday marks the end of the first novena. See The Novena to the Holy Spirit.

Pentecost (Whitsunday), with Christmas and Easter, ranks among the great feasts of Christianity. It commemorates not only the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and Disciples, but also the fruits and effects of that event: the completion of the work of redemption, the fullness of grace for the Church and its children, and the gift of faith for all nations.

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.


Pentecost
After Jesus had ascended to heaven from Mt. Olivet, the apostles and disciples returned to the Holy City. They remained together in the Upper Room or Cenacle, the place where Jesus had appeared to them and which may well be called the first Christian church. About a hundred and twenty persons were assembled there. They chose Matthias as an apostle in place of the unhappy Judas; they prayed and waited for the Paraclete.

Ten days had passed, it was Sunday, the seventh Sunday after the resurrection. At about nine o'clock in the morning, as they were together praying fervently, the Holy Spirit descended upon them. Note how all the great theophanies in Christ's life occurred during the course of prayer. After His baptism, for instance, when Jesus was praying the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove; likewise, it was during prayer at night that the transfiguration took place on Tabor. Surely too it was while Mary was praying that Gabriel delivered his message, and the Holy Spirit overshadowed her. Pentecost followed precedent. The small community of Christians had prepared themselves through prayer for the coming of the Paraclete. The same is true at Mass today, every day; through prayer we ready our souls for the advent of the Spirit.

The descent upon the apostles was internal and invisible in nature although accompanied by certain visible phenomena. There came a mighty roar, like the onrush of a violent wind. It came suddenly, from heaven; but unlike storms that strike a structure from without, this one penetrated and filled the room where the disciples were gathered. Therefore it was not a natural wind, it was a miracle peculiar to the occasion. A second visible sign consisted in tongues of fire that descended upon each one present. These fiery tongues gave visible evidence that the Holy Spirit had descended upon them.

Today at Mass, particularly at holy Communion, the power of the Holy Spirit will come down upon us; fiery tongues will not be seen, but invisible tongues of fire will not be absent. There was still another external manifestation of the Holy Spirit; the apostles and disciples were enabled to speak various languages.

After the roar of the wind many of Jerusalem's pilgrims hurried to the Cenacle. Pentecost was one of the three festivals which obliged all Jews to be present in Jerusalem. Jews from distant lands, and Jewish converts from paganism too, attended these feasts. As a result, a colorful crowd speaking a variety of languages surrounded the house. Now the apostles, who so shortly before had hid in fear behind locked doors, came forth and courageously walked among the multitude speaking to each in his native tongue. It was indeed amazing! Galileans, and multilingual?

But the malicious too were present; they had the answer. Nothing marvelous at all! Those Galileans were simply drunk, and their drunken babble sounded like a foreign language! Peter showed no hesitation in answering the charge. None of their number, he said, were intoxicated; it was but nine o'clock in the morning, and at that hour men usually are sober. What the multitude saw was, in fact, the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy: In those days (of the Messiah), God will pour forth His Spirit upon men and they will prophesy. . . . Then the apostle pointed his words more directly against the accusers: they had killed Jesus, had nailed Him to the Cross; but God had awakened Him and after His departure to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit.

The pilgrims who had heard Peter give this first pentecostal sermon "were pierced to the heart and said: Brethren, what shall we do? But Peter said to them: Repent and be baptized; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Three thousand responded.

One final question: why the miracle of tongues? In answer, recall the story regarding the tower of Babel. Puffed up by pride, men attempted to build a tower that would touch the heavens. To punish their sin, God confused their speech. Sin causes confusion and division. Now Christ came to gather all men into His Church and thereby to unite them to Himself. This should result in creating but one family of nations again. To this blessed state the miracle of tongues points.

Yes, even we as individuals have a gift of tongues which all men can understand. It is the gift of love infused into us by the Holy Spirit. Love unites, love is a common language, by means of love we can speak to all nations.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Things to Do:


35 posted on 05/27/2012 4:04:18 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Acts 2:1-11

Pentecost

Scholars tell us that the first Pentecost took place during the Jewish Feast of Weeks. This was a festival at which the first fruits of the harvest were offered to God in thanksgiving. But on this particular day, instead of giving our first fruits to God, he gave his first fruit—the Holy Spirit—to us.

And what an amazing gift the Spirit has been! It is his power that has kept the church on track, despite human sinfulness, for two millennia. It is his grace that has strengthened us, revealed Jesus to us, moved us to serve, and convinced us that Jesus will indeed come back to bring heaven down to earth. To put it quite simply, Pentecost is all about the fact that Almighty God has come to live in human hearts, making ordinary people into extraordinary saints.

After Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to the apostles and, breath­ing on them, said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). Just as he did at Pentecost, Jesus wants to breathe God’s energy into our hearts every day. The spiritual dynamic that was present at that first Pentecost, mov­ing people to love God, to seek out holiness, and to come together as a church, is still at work today.

How can we tell if this breath of God is active in our lives? We will feel energized by the Spirit, and we will want to set our sights on being like Jesus. We will feel moved to go to work for the kingdom, relying on the Spirit’s power and guidance. We will try to be more loving, more kind, and more patient.

Right now, stop and take a few deep breaths. In your mind, imagine yourself breathing in the Spirit and breathing out your sin. Picture your­self accepting the Lord and his plans, and letting go of your own plans and visions. Know that what you are breathing in is pure, holy, and intoxi­cating. Jesus has great plans for every member of his church. And that includes you!

“Lord Jesus, breathe on me and make me more alive to God. Come, Holy Spirit, and fill me with your life!”


Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104:1,24,29-31,34; 1 Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13; John 20:19-23)

1. The account in Acts 2 of the First Reading describes the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles. Through this miraculous work, we see the Holy Spirit becoming the unifier of the Church. We too have received that same Spirit. In what ways can you fan into flame in a deeper way the Holy Spirit who was given to you at your Baptism and Confirmation? How can you use the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life and others to strengthen the unity of your parish?

2. The response to the Responsorial Psalm is “Lord, send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.” This renewal begins with each one of us. What renewal does God want to make in your life? In addition, in what ways has the Holy Spirit called you to participate in the mission of the Church to “renew the face of the earth”?

3. In the second reading, we learn that the Holy Spirit is given to each one of us for some benefit of the whole Church. What gifts do you have that can be used to build up your church? How can you use them for the benefit of others in your family?

4. In the Gospel reading, Jesus tells the Apostles, “As the Father has sent me so I send you” and then he “breathed” the Holy Spirit on them. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have reminded us over and over again that this commission that Christ gave the Church in the Gospel was not meant just for the Apostles, but rather for each of us believers. We all share in the responsibility to tell the world of the Good News of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ! What specifically can you do in the upcoming weeks to share this Good News with others?

5. In the meditation, we hear these words: “Just as he did at Pentecost, Jesus wants to breathe God’s energy into our hearts every day. The spiritual dynamic that was present at that first Pentecost, moving people to love God, to seek out holiness, and to come together as a church, is still at work today.” In what ways have you experienced the “spiritual dynamic that was present at that first Pentecost”?

6. The meditation ends with a spiritual exercise to allow each of us to experience a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit. Take some time now to go through this exercise and then, using the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point, pray for this fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit.


36 posted on 05/27/2012 4:29:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

PENTECOST

PENTECOST

After the ascension in Luke’s Gospel, the apostles experience the absence of Jesus’ presence and power. They recede to the Upper Room where they had known His love before and perhaps He seemed close and real there. 

Mary is in their midst. They pray. They’re scared, and the doors are locked. They do not know at this point if they have been fooled. Maybe we wanted it so much we created it, they must have thought. Maybe we did it ourselves. Are you sure that was really Jesus who you saw on the road, Peter? You can’t believe those women; they get emotional. How do we know that they really experienced Jesus? 

Perhaps it was then that Mary communicated to them her own experience of Jesus. Again and again she had pondered in her heart what He was to be, what His life was to mean. No doubt they shared again and again during those forty days. Yet it was jumbled and confused. There is no talk yet of conviction or power. 

But they are praying together and sharing as a community. They’re gathered together in faith, waiting upon the Lord. They’re listening to the Lord, suffering with the Lord, knowing that no person who has put trust in God has done so in vain. 

And they are not disappointed. The power comes. By no effort of their own they are made into persons of faith, of conviction, into those who can say, “Jesus is Lord!” That is the dividing line, the day of Pentecost. Finally they are purified. They are free to believe in the power of the Lord. They receive the gift of the Spirit. God had not changed, they had, by the Spirit’s gift. 

...

So the Church has always been afraid of the charismatic, has always feared those who speak of the Spirit because they cannot be easily organized. The Spirit blows where the Spirit will, like the wind: It comes from and goes where you know not. 


37 posted on 05/27/2012 4:36:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
A Christian Pilgrim

THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

A biblical reflection on PENTECOST SUNDAY – May 27, 2012) 

First Reading: Acts 2:1-11 

Psalms: Ps 104:1,24,29-31,34, Second Reading: Gal 5:16-25; Gospel Reading: Jn 15:26-27; 16:12-15

The Scripture Text

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” (Acts 2:1-11 RSV) 

It would be a mistake to restrict Pentecost, or the descent of the Holy Spirit, to a one day wonder when a house in Jerusalem was rocked by a mighty wind and there were mysterious tongues of fire in the air.

The three readings in today’s Holy Mass widen our understanding of the Spirit’s coming as they approach it from different perspectives. Luke’s story in the “Acts of the Apostles” about the Pentecost Day is certainly the most familiar to us since our liturgical calendar follows His timing of events. In John’s Gospel we read that Jesus promised His apostles/disciples that He would send them the Holy Spirit, who would teach them all truth and help them recall what He had said. In the second reading, we read that Saint Paul told the Galatians about the fruit of the Spirit.

The coming of the Holy Spirit marks the dynamic expansion of the evangelical mission entrusted to us the disciples, to all races …… to the whole world. So, it suited Luke admirably to set the event in the context of the harvest festival of the fiftieth day. Pentecost means the fiftieth day.

The symbols in Luke’s story are the mighty wind and the tongues of fire. The wind expresses the movement of God’s creative power, recalling the breath of God over the primitive chaos in the story of creation. The tongues express the proclamation of the message. They are of fire, which is the symbol of love and the agent of purification or judgment. Luke’s concern in his composition of the story is the expansion of the mission of Jesus into the universal mission of the Church.

John the Evangelist sees the divine gift of the Spirit in the Easter context of the uplifting of Jesus in His dying and rising. “… and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself” (Jn 12:32). Jesus had promised much to all those who would be raised up in His rising. He promised that believers would discover fountains of living water within their own souls. Jesus said: “He who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” Now this Jesus said about the Spirit, which those who believed in Him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (Jn 7:38-39). Later, in the Last Supper, Jesus said, “… when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness to Me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with Me from the beginning” (Jn 15:26).

At Pentecost we celebrate the birthday of the Church. With John we celebrate our involvement in the uplifting of Jesus by the gift of the Spirit to overcome sin. With Luke we celebrate the dynamism of the Spirit seen in the preaching of the Good News and expansion of the Kingdom on earth. With Paul we celebrate our walk with the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh (Gal 5:13). Again, Pentecost is the birthday of the Church …… our birthday !!!

Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, pour the living water of the Holy Spirit over my heart, so that I may bear fruit for You. Come, Holy Spirit, and reveal Jesus to my heart today. Let me know the Lord and the power of His resurrection. I want to become a new creation today. Amen.


38 posted on 05/27/2012 4:38:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

FATHER, WE THANK YOU FOR THE PARACLETE SENT TO US THROUGH YOUR SON, JESUS

[SUNDAY, 27 MAY 2012] 

First Reading: Acts 2:1-11 

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” (Acts 2:1-11 RSV)  

Prayer: Father, we thank You for the Paraclete sent to us through Your Son, Jesus, the Spirit is the Love of God. 

We think of the darkness of Calvary, where Jesus died, and the light of the Pentecost room, filled with tongues of fire. We think of the suffering of Your Son and the glory given to His followers. We think of the suffering of Your Son and the glory given to His followers. We think of the jeers of the rabble around the Cross, and the awed silence when the disciples spoke in tongues. We have a vague knowledge of what we are, of what You have called us to be. Our journey is often one of pain and suffering, but there’s a glory in us, aching to be born. We are a sinful people but a holy nation. We walk in the darkness, but the light of Your Spirit calls us to our goal. Teach us to dwell in the light, to use the gifts You have given, to rejoice always in the promises You have made. Amen. 

The prayer is taken from Fr. Killian Speckner OFMConv., THE PRAYERS OF FATHER KILLIAN – A Franciscan Missionary’s Guide to Daily Devotion, Paraclete Press, 1986. 


39 posted on 05/27/2012 4:40:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Scripture Study

Pentecost Sunday - Cycle B

May 27, 2012

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Acts 2:1-11

Psalm: 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13

Gospel Reading: John 20:19-23

  • This Sunday’s Gospel is a reading that we just heard on the 2nd Sunday of Easter. For this Pentecost Sunday, therefore, we will instead be looking at the First Reading for this Sunday, taken from the Acts of the Apostles.
  • The setting is at Jerusalem in the upper room where the Last Supper had been held. It is 10 days after the Ascension, at which time Jesus had left them specific instructions (Acts 1:45). About 120 people, including Mary, were present. It is the time of the Jewish feast of Pentecost.
  • Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks (in Hebrew, Shavout), was one of three major Jewish pilgrim feasts, celebrated seven weeks after Passover (Deuteronomy 16:16). Devout Jews from all over the known world would be in Jerusalem for these two feasts (verses 9-11). Originally a harvest festival where God’s people would offer him the first fruits (best part) of the harvest, it came to be also a commemoration of the giving of the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai on the fiftieth day after the Exodus from Egypt (from the Greek Petekoste, meaning “fiftieth”).
  • Christians now celebrate Pentecost as the “birthday” of the Church, and a celebration of the giving of the New Law of the Spirit written on the hearts of believers (Jeremiah 31:31-34; 2 Corinthians 3:4-6) as was promised to the Apostles by Our Lord (John 15:26;16:13; 20:22, Luke 24:49).

 

QUESTIONS:

  • In the 2nd Reading, if the “Body of Christ” is not simply a metaphor, what is it? (see 1 Corinthians 10:17; CCC 790) What does the Holy Spirit do in the Body? (see CCC 797) How does union with Christ affect social and ethnic differences? (see Galatians 3:28; CCC 1267)
  • What was the original meaning of the Feast of Pentecost for Jews (Deuteronomy 16:9-10)? What theological significance did they add to this feast? Why do you think God chose the Jewish Feast of Pentecost to give the Holy Spirit to the Church? What is the meaning of Pentecost for Christians (Acts 2:32-33; CCC 715)?
  • How far have these pilgrims come (verses 9-11)? What attracts them to the disciples? Would you respond more like those in verse 12 or those in verse 13? Why?
  • When have you experienced an empowering from God to witness about Christ? How does being filled with the Spirit relate to bearing witness about Christ?
  • Have you ever had a strong religious conversion experience? If so, how did your behavior change, and what did your family and friends think about it? What did you think about it?

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 687-690, 730, 733-741, 1695

 

We do not exist in order to pursue just any happiness.  We have been called to penetrate the intimacy of God's own life, to know and love God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and to love also--in that same love of the one God in three divine Persons--the angels and all men.  --St. Josemaria Escriva


40 posted on 05/27/2012 4:49:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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We Live in a War-Zone!

Pastor’s Column

Pentecost Sunday

May 27, 2012 

The second reading for Pentecost Sunday is so important for our spiritual discernment that I want to reprint some of it for our continued reflection—you might want to stick this on the refrigerator! (Galatians 5: 16-25—Jerusalem Bible):

“If you are guided by the Spirit, you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence, since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit, the Spirit is totally against such a thing, and it is precisely because the two are so opposed that you do not always carry out your good intentions….When self-indulgence is at work the results are obvious:

Impurity

Lust

Idolatry

Sorcery

Outbursts of fury

Jealousy

Acts of selfishness

Dissentions

Factions

Drinking bouts

Orgies and the like.

I warn you as I warned you before that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  What the Spirit brings is very different:

Love

Joy

Peace

Patience

Goodness

Kindness

Gentleness

Self-control

…You cannot belong to Christ Jesus unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit’s lead.”

Brothers and sisters, we live in a spiritual war-zone.  Each of us is in fact on the front lines of the battle, with the enemy of our souls tempting us on one side and the Lord and his armies on the other.  The battle rages both within and around us! In this Sunday’s second reading from Galatians , Saint Paul gives us this checklist to help us discern whose side of the battle we are fighting on: am I standing in the territory of the enemy at this moment, in this decision, or am I a force for good in the power of the Holy Spirit?

Even Saint Paul acknowledged that none of us wins every battle.  This is why we rely on the mercy of Christ, who forgives our sins.  Many people don’t even realize that life is really a spiritual battle zone!  Whether we realize it or not, every decision and action of ours will bear fruit ultimately on the side of self-indulgence, or on the side of the Holy Spirit.  Selfishness, angry outbursts, impurity, impatience… none of this comes from the Holy Spirit!  When we see these types of fruits being manifested in our lives, it means that something needs to be corrected in our spiritual life.

This is exactly why Saint Paul gives us these two lists, because we need a constant reminder to help us discern regularly whose side we are fighting on, God’s or his enemy!  The fruits of our decisions and actions will tell the real story.  In order to see this, however, we will want to become more spiritually aware by examining our lives and actual decisions on a daily basis.

In many ways each church, like Saint Eds, is on the front lines of a kind of spiritual battle for souls that is taking place throughout the world.  We come to mass and participate in other activities here in order to be nourished in our faith, fed by the Eucharist and the other sacraments, strengthened by our fellowship with others, and to give to our neighbor of what we have by our presence and by our gifts, sacrifices and finances.

Sometimes we let Christ in through the front door (by praying, coming to church or doing good works, for example), but at the same time, we open a window and let the enemy in too (watching pornography and impurity in the media and internet and self-centered behaviors at home, school and work, for example).

The question to ask ourselves is this: if I am continually falling in certain areas of self-indulgence, am I really at war with these sinful choices?  What must I do to overcome them?  Am I really avoiding the situations that cause me to fall into sin?  Am I making a good confession on a regular basis?  Is any form of fasting (food, media) a part of my regime?  Do I really make God and prayer a priority in my life?  By following the Holy Spirit’s lead, we can already begin to live in heaven, no matter how much suffering we may be experiencing, because to live in heaven is to do the Will of God.

                                                                      Fr Gary

41 posted on 05/27/2012 5:20:01 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
"To bless or not to bless (during Communion( that is the question!"
 



Pardon the illusion to Shakespeare in the title of this post but I couldn’t resist. Listening to the radio in my car the other day I came across a discussion of this issue on a Catholic radio station.  That is, a discussion on the practice that has become rather common in the Catholic Church here in the United States, of blessing those in the Communion line who are either too young to receive Communion or adults who may come forward with hands crossed over their chest who seek to be blessed rather than receive the Eucharist, such as non-Catholic spouses and visitors.   
I have been doing this for some time as priest because the parishes I have pastored already had this practice. I see it as one of those popular pious expressions of the faithful that do occasionally arise but I have never been able to determine how this caught on.  Our Eucharistic Ministers do not “bless” as a deacon, priest or bishop might do but may hold their hand on the persons shoulder or head and say something like, “May God bless you.” The concern is that there is no specific provision for this in the directives for the Mass. Strictly speaking it probably should not be done but can/should it be done? The Communion line is for one purpose: to receive Holy Communion.
On the one hand, it doesn’t seem to me as a great offense in the necessary flow and unity of the liturgy. It is hardly a grievous scandal or obvious disruption or replacing something greater such as the sacred Scriptures.  Yet, it does add something that is not “prescribed.”  
However, if we are concerned about interruptions during the liturgy, things that distract and pull us away from the dignity of the Eucharist, then maybe we should ban crying children who throw fits or coughing adults, people who consistently come late for Mass and worse yet, always leave early after receiving Communion.
What of those who walk around the church or down the middle isle to visit the restroom during the Eucharistic prayer. Then, there is always the issue of proper dress. Shorts, blue jeans, and tank tops? The list could go on, of course, but human nature is not easily tamed. Any priest will tell you that expecting the unexpected is the norm. Such things should be addressed on some level.
The unofficial practice of blessing individuals during communion is in the same category as the practice of holding hands during the Our Father. At some point the congregation decided that the unity expressed within the Church is emphasized not just by our words but also more by physically joining hands as we all acknowledge God as our Father. Jesus told us to call God our “Abba.”  But exactly how such practices arise are not always clear. Yet, is it a simple expression of the Spirit’s presence among us? The “Sensus fidelium” (sense of the faithful) expressed in a small way?
The present English translation of the Roman Missal was long mentioned as a renewal of the liturgy.  It was felt, and in some cases rightly so, that a greater dignity and reverence was needed. We prepared carefully for that new translation.  As is necessary, certain principles of proper liturgy were explained and the guidelines and norms are given in the front part of that Missal.  Nowhere does it state that a blessing should be given to those who do not receive Holy Communion and nowhere does it mention that the people should join hands during the Our Father.
Sometimes such things are culturally based and other times they arise due to the desire of the community to feel more a part of the liturgy. Then, our Hispanic brothers and sisters often will bless themselves and kiss their hand after receiving the Eucharist. Nothing in the Missal states this is to be done but it seems to be a cultural piety.
Unity is an expression of our faith, the fruit of the Eucharist and a grace of our baptism where we are joined with Christ and his Church. Uniformity is a tougher issue.  When the Church gathers, as we do around the Lord’s altar, we recognize the diversity among us yet it is Word and Sacrament that binds us together as one with Christ and our fellow believers.   
It seems to me, the Church is calling us to unity and not uniformity or rigidity. Full, active and conscious participation (e.g. Vatican II) means exactly that. Just showing up in some passive “participation” is not enough. Those who consistently come late and leave early sadly need some serious catechesis but human nature would predict little change from this habit.  But, it is good they are here and better than not.  
To create a liturgy which breathes the presence of the Holy Spirit and brings Christ to his people in Word and Sacrament is our task. Norms and guidelines have their place and great value and they must be followed rather than have everyone “doing their own thing.”  
So, in this larger context, offering a simple blessing to a baby, young child or non-Catholic spouse in the Communion line is an acknowledgement that though we are not joined with you specifically at the Lord’s table, yet you are joined with us because of your participation in the life of Christ among us.  You are a member of the family of which your spouse is Catholic and her/his faith is something you are willing to support and participate in. This blessing is our wish for you. This blessing may also be an invitation to explore the faith more deeply and join as one with your family and that of the Church.  
The young children who are blessed, as they prepared to receive Our Lord in Communion, very much look forward to that event. They know the difference and seem to feel closer to the entire Eucharistic celebration when that great day comes for them. These unofficial blessings seem to enhance, in a simple but powerful way, the beauty of Eucharistic celebrations and the unity which Christ calls all of us to in his Church.
Some thoughts.  Your comments??
Fr. Tim

42 posted on 05/27/2012 5:37:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Insight Scoop

Pentecost, the Church's birthday, and the Church's humility

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, May 27 2012, Pentecost Sunday | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• Acts 2:1-12
• Ps 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
• 1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13 or Gal 5:16-25
• Jn 20:19-23 or Jn 15:26-27; 16:12-15

“The Christian Church is the detonation of that explosive for which a train had been prepared through the centuries,” wrote Monsignor Ronald Knox in a collection of essays titled Stimili (Sheed & Ward, 1951). “Everything that happened before the day of Pentecost was a kind of dress-rehearsal for the day of Pentecost.”

Many of the Church Fathers contemplated how Old Testament events foreshadowed or pointed toward the dramatic outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room and the events immediately following.

This was interpreted by some of the Fathers as a reversal of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9). Responding to man’s arrogant attempt to build a tower “with its top in the heavens”, God came down and confused the language of men so that they could not understand one another. Without the ability to communicate, mankind was scattered “abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” At Pentecost, God again descended and again caused confusion—but it was confusion caused by awe and astonishment, for men “from every nation under heaven” could understand one another.

“The church’s humility,” wrote St. Bede, “recovers the unity of languages that the pride of Babylon had shattered.” Man cannot, by his own efforts and intellect, achieve heaven; it is a grace and gift granted by the power of the Holy Spirit.

A second foreshadowing was the span of time between the first Passover and the arrival of the Israelites at Mount Sinai. The book of Exodus does not provide an exact time, stating the people arrived at Sinai on “the third new moon” (Ex. 19:1). Later, however, the feast of weeks, which was celebrated seven weeks after the first harvest was cut (cf., Dt. 16:9; Ex. 23:16; Lev. 23:9-21), was connected with the Exodus. Eventually, a span of fifty days was reckoned between the Passover and the feast of weeks, also known Pentecost (Greek for “fiftieth”).

Christ was the final and perfect Passover lamb who had, in fact, died during the feast of the Passover; by his Resurrection, he was also “the first fruits” from the dead (1 Cor 15:20). Therefore, Pentecost was the celebration of the divine harvest, brought about by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Finally, Pentecost had become associated in Judaism with the giving of the Law and the establishment of the Mosaic covenant at Sinai. The parallels here are both evident and significant: the new people of God, the Church, is formed by Christ (who is the New Moses) and filled by the Holy Spirit (who is the soul of the Church). The new and everlasting covenant is established by the law of Christ—that is, the law of Love—which in turn we are able to live because of the grace and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The Church, St. Paul states in today’s Epistle, is the Body of Christ, having many parts but being one by virtue of one Spirit and one baptism (1 Cor 12:12-13).  The Church was not an afterthought or a Plan B, but was at the heart of the Father’s plan of salvation from the beginning; it was, the Catechism notes, “the goal of all things”, because it is the household of God, in which man enters into saving communion and is filled with the divine life (CCC 760).

Pentecost, then, is the birthday of the Church—a birthday giving new birth to mankind, regardless of race, sex, or social status. We are meant, Monsignor Knox wrote, “to find ourselves as members of a Spirit-filled, Spirit-actuated Body; if we remain in its unity, we know that the life of the Spirit, is, however imperceptibly, expressing itself in us.”

That unity, however, is often threatened by the temptation to save ourselves and to achieve wholeness apart from God. The feast of Pentecost reminds us that we have been saved from the land of sin by the Son, filled with divine life by the Holy Spirit, and called to the Promised Land by the Father.

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the May 31, 2009, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


43 posted on 05/27/2012 6:13:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Vultus Christi

Whitsunday

 on May 26, 2012 7:37 PM |
 
Sant%20Spirito%20Torino-Milano.jpg


A Pentecost Meditation

Alleluia!
Today the Spirit of the Lord has invaded the cosmos and filled it!
Life spills out of the Cenacle
and, like a torrent of wine,
courses through the streets of Jerusalem.
God arises and His enemies are scattered;
those that hate Him flee before his face,
and those that love Him sing: Alleluia!

Today He who came down to see Babel’s tower
and confused the speech of the proud
visits the Upper Room.
He unties the tongues of the humble
and unites into one holy people those long divided by sin.
Amazed at what she sees and hears,
the Church intones her birthday song: Alleluia!

Today He who on Sinai descended in fire,
causing rocks to quake and peaks to pale,
descends upon Jerusalem;
tongues of fire dance over the heads of those
who, cloistered in the Cenacle, waited to meet their God
and at His coming, they cry out: Alleluia.

Today the valley of dry bones
begins to stir, to rattle, and to reverberate.
Behold, I will cause the Spirit to enter you,
and you shall live:
and they lived and stood upon their feet,
an exceeding great host
singing: Alleluia!

Today the Cenacle sealed like tomb
opens, a joyful Mother’s fruitful womb.
None was ever born of the Spirit
who did not take his birth from her,
and each, claiming from her the springs of his life,
calls her forever glorious, repeating: Alleluia!

Today the Spirit is poured out in superabundance;
today sons and daughters prophesy;
today old men dream dreams and young men see visions;
today menservants and maidservants
join the choir to chant with one many-tongued voice: Alleluia!

Today the Virgin whom the Spirit covered with His shadow
is wrapped in Love and crowned in flame.
Today the Woman who interceded at Cana
tastes New Wine, for the Hour has come.
Today the Mother who stood watching by the Tree
remembers the stream of water and of blood
and filled with sweetness, cries: Alleluia!

Today the Spirit helps us in our weakness
and we who do not know to pray as we ought,
pray in a way that is wonderful and new;
for now the Spirit Himself intercedes for us
with sighs too deep for words.
In the valley of the shadow of death
there rises the canticle of life: Alleluia!

Today, for the poor there is a Father,
for the destitute a Treasury,
for hearts grown dark an inblazing of brightness.
Today, for those who weep there comes the Best of Comforters,
for the lonely, there arrives a gentle Guest,
for the worn and weary there is a refreshment so sweet
that even they begin to sing: Alleluia!

Today, for workers there is repose,
for those scorched in the heat of discord, refreshment,
for those brought low by too great a weight of sorrow, solace,
and for those with tears to shed,
a chalice ready to receive them.
Today there is no one who cannot say: Alleluia!

Today, even where there is nothing good
Goodness elects to dwell;
and where there is nothing holy
Holiness makes a tabernacle,
so that the broken, the sad, and the powerless
find their voices to sing: Alleluia!

Today, there is a balm for every wound,
a dew sprinkled over every dryness;
a cleansing water for every stain.
Today, the stubborn heart learns to bend
and the stiff spine learns to bow.
In the twinkling of an eye the frozen are thawed
and icy hearts warmed through and through,
making them declare as never before: Alleluia!

Today there are Seven Gifts
lavishly given for each according to his need:
Wisdom for the foolish,
Understanding for the dull,
Counsel for the hesitant,
Fortitude for the weak,
Piety for the feckless,
and Fear of the Lord for those who have forgotten to adore,
saying humbly: Alleluia

Today for sinners there is forgiveness,
for the stranger a home,
for the hungry a Holy Table,
for the thirsty a river of living water,
and for every mouth the long-awaited Kiss.
Today heaven is poured over the face of the earth,
while the children of men in amazement sing: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!


44 posted on 05/27/2012 6:16:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Regnum Christi

The Power of the Spirit
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Pentecost Sunday

John 20: 19-23

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."

Introductory Prayer: Today, Lord, we celebrate the gift of your Holy Spirit to the Church, which you won for us through your patient suffering on the cross. I believe and trust in his power to make me a better apostle of your Kingdom, to bring fervor where I have grown tepid, to instill detachment where I have become too indulgent, and to perfect the innocence of my baptism, which leaves my soul more pure and worthy to serve and honor you each day.

Petition: Come Holy Spirit, fill my heart with your grace and enkindle in me the fire of your love.

1. The Doors Were Locked: What is it that makes a disciple of Christ stop cold in the path of conversion and commitment? Cloaked underneath our spiritual inertia and lack of zeal are not so much our personal defects or our lack of human virtue as blindness to the dynamic power of the Crucified and Risen Lord. We can leave our self-made prisons only by opening our hearts to a faith in Christ that is total: total trust (in spite of the confusion of the present and uncertainty of the future), total hope (by breaking away from having to see the ideal in ourselves before we will act), and total divine confidence (in setting aside the sins of others and our personal failures that keep us stuck in myopic visions of life). Christ comes through bolted doors again today to ask us to unlock them with a real experience of the Risen Lord in the power of the Spirit.

2. Peace Be With You: It is vital to examine our “peace” and see if it truly speaks of the peace of the Upper Room. Substitute “satisfaction” for the word “peace,” and see where our hearts have tried to find consolation this past week. Then substitute the word “fulfillment.” This is the peace that Christ brings through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Some passing satisfactions are part of life, and we can be grateful for them. When we seek them for their own sake, however, we can easily drown out the life of the Spirit, who comes to bring us deep peace and fulfillment in life. Pentecost must convince us above all about prayer and the order of life that permit us to have constant contact with sources of grace and divine inspiration.

3. Receive the Holy Spirit: In the sacrament of penance, we are forgiven our sins through the action of the Holy Spirit, who makes the actions of Christ present through the priest. We believe that mercy founds hope and change in our soul. Why, then, do we not believe that this same grace from the Holy Spirit can make us heroic saints, victorious in trial, patient in difficult relationships and more effective as apostles? Christ assures us that his power will never leave us, so we have no reason to “slip into neutral” after a few bad incidents in our life. Rather, the Holy Spirit’s goal moves us from mercy to transformation into Christ, permitting us spiritually to carry and reveal his wounds to an unbelieving world.

Conversation with Christ: Oh, Jesus, I will trust more in the power of your Holy Spirit to change me than in my own efforts. I will depend on you in that face-to-face encounter I need to have with you every day. Let the sources of divine grace become my true food, and may I move away from feeding my soul on passing pleasures and vain ambitions.

Resolution: This week, I will write down daily all the lights and inspirations of the Holy Spirit I receive, and I will try to act on them with promptness, confidence and generosity.


45 posted on 05/27/2012 6:21:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

 


<< Sunday, May 27, 2012 >> Pentecost
Saint of the Day
 
Acts 2:1-11
1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13 or
Galatians 5:16-25

View Readings
Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34
John 20:19-23
or John 15:26-27; 16:12-15

 

"OPPOSING THE HOLY SPIRIT" (Acts 7:51)

 
"All of us have been given to drink of the one Spirit." —1 Corinthians 12:13
 

On the first Easter evening, Jesus breathed on the apostles "and said: 'Receive the Holy Spirit' " (Jn 20:22). They showed no signs of having accepted the Spirit as they remained locked in the upper room "for fear of the Jews" (Jn 20:19, 26). Fifty days later, the apostles and over a hundred other people "were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to express themselves in foreign tongues and make bold proclamation as the Spirit prompted them" (Acts 2:4).

Why did the apostles receive the Holy Spirit at Pentecost but not on the day Jesus rose from the dead? "The Holy Spirit of discipline flees deceit" (Wis 1:5). Possibly at the first Easter the apostles were not honest with themselves about their sins and fears. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth (Jn 16:13). We must be consecrated by truth to receive the Spirit (see Jn 17:17).

If we are honest with ourselves, we will realize that we do not want to receive the Spirit that much because the Holy Spirit, being God, will not take orders from us. Rather, He will command us to do His will. This turns us off to the Holy Spirit because we naturally don't want anyone, even God, to tell us what to do. We must honestly face this resistance to the Spirit, repent of our selfishness, and make a decision to do God's will instead of ours. Then we will be filled with the Spirit.

 
Prayer: Father, in the name of Jesus, fill me with the Spirit. Give me a new Pentecost now.
Promise: "No one can say: 'Jesus is Lord,' except in the Holy Spirit." —1 Cor 12:3
Praise: Alleluia! "Come, thou Holy Spirit, come! And from Thy celestial home shed a ray of light divine!" (Pentecost sequence)

46 posted on 05/27/2012 6:30:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Peace be with you

An epitaph is a text honoring the deceased, most commonly inscribed
on a tombstone. Many are quotes from holy texts like the Bible. In
Manila’s North Cemetery, a funny but striking epitaph of an unknown
tomb says it all: Juan dela Cruz “Ako Ngayon… Bukas Ikaw” (My turn
today, your turn tomorrow).

An epitaph is a reminder of our own mortality. When Jesus died on the
cross, the disciples, except John, hid themselves for fear of being
arrested and killed. Fear, frustration, and uncertainty of their
future overwhelmed the disciples, but they stood together. Then one
evening, Jesus suddenly stood among them and said, “Peace be with
you,” and immediately showed his wounded hands and side. At first
glance, the showing of wounded hands and side seems to contradict the
greeting of peace; but it is actually an offering of consolation,
encouragement, and hope to the disheartened disciples. Jesus knew what
was within the hearts of the disciples – great fear. As a consoler,
Jesus consoled them in words (“Peace be with you”) and in action (“He
showed them his hands and side”). His greeting of peace was intimately
connected to his wounds. His wounds speak of peace!

The best consoler is the one who already experienced difficulty.
Encouragement from a cancer survivor or cancer patient is more
consoling than that of a priest. Words of forgiveness from a father
whose son was brutally murdered may move our hearts to forgive. A
scripture professor may impress us with his in-depth knowledge of the
Bible but a very profound sharing that comes from the heart may bring
us closer to God. The deepest and truest consolation will always come
from somebody who has been there already.

This is the reason why Jesus showed his hands and side to his
disciples. Besides telling them that he is alive, by showing his
wounds, Jesus wanted them to see the marks of cruelty, pain, hate, and
torture that he endured. The risen Christ was wounded, suffered, and
was crucified, and yet he survived. Yes, he died on the cross… but now
he is alive! The Father vindicated Jesus by raising him from the dead.
Thus, the wounds of Jesus became the signs of hope and strength, bound
intimately to his words of peace. “I will carry my cross and claim my
own resurrection.”

The greeting of Jesus, “Peace be with you,” is a forceful command for
the disciples, encouraging them back to life, to hope, to be available
to him and the world again. His greeting of peace and revelation of
his wounds call us not to run, not to hide, not to fear anymore, not
to do a disappearing act; but rather to face the world with courage
and spread the Good News. The empty tomb becomes the womb of our hope
– Jesus defeated death and has risen. Go now! Claim Jesus’ victory
over death, you are an empowered Easter child!

A good epitaph speaks to us and warns us of our own mortality, but the
epitaph of Jesus in his empty tomb will remind us of our own
immortality.


47 posted on 05/27/2012 6:37:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

PRAYER FOR THE UNBORN CHILD


Almighty God, our Father, you who have given us life and intended us to have it forever, grant us your blessings. 
Enlighten our minds to an awareness and to a renewed conviction that all human life is sacred because it is created 
in your image and likeness.  Help us to teach by word and the example of our lives that life occupies the first place, 
that human life is precious because it is the gift of God whose love is infinite.  Give us the strength to defend human life 
against every influence or action that threatens or weakens it, as well as the strength to make every life more human 
in all its aspects.  

Give us the grace...

When the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, to stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority 
to destroy unborn life.

When a child is described as a burden or is looked upon only as a means to satisfy an emotional need, to stand up 
and insist that every child is a unique and unrepeatable gift of God,  a gift of God with a right to a loving and united family.

When the institution of marriage is abandoned to human selfishness or reduced to a temporary conditional arrangement 
that can easily be terminated, to stand up and affirm the indissolubility of the marriage bond.

When the value of the family is threatened because of social and economic pressure, to stand up and reaffirm that the family is necessary 
not only for the private good of every person, but also for the common good of every society, nation and state.

When freedom is used to dominate the weak, to squander natural resources and energy, to deny basic necessities to people, 
to stand up and affirm the demands of justice and social love.

Almighty Father, give us courage to proclaim the supreme dignity of all human life and to demand that society itself give its protection.  
We ask this in your name, through the redemptive act of your Son and in the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

(From Pope John Paul II's homily of October 7, 1979.)

48 posted on 05/27/2012 6:39:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gospel (Read Jn 20:19-23)

Today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus surprised the disciples “on the evening of that first day of the week” by appearing in their midst without using a door (locked “for fear of the Jews”).  We wonder if He had to calm them down a bit, because He said, twice, “Peace be with you.”  We can imagine how startled they were.  He showed them His wounds, in case they thought He was a ghost.  Then, Jesus gave the apostles an astonishing commission:  “As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.”  What had begun three years earlier with a call to “Follow Me” (Mt 4:19) culminated in a sending out.  Their work was to be a continuation of the divine apostleship of Jesus (“apostle” means “one sent”; see Heb. 3:1).  If we have paid attention to the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ companionship with these men, we have seen clear indications that He intended to give the apostles authority to build His Church and do His work.  We are impressed by the scope of their mission but not really surprised by it.  However, after announcing His directive to them, Jesus steps out of the expected with an action that can only be described as strange:  “He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”  Don’t let familiarity with this verse rob it of its shock value.  Why on earth did Jesus breathe on His apostles?

To understand this moment, so different from anything we’ve yet seen in any Gospel account, we have to go back to the beginning, to the first time divinity breathed on humanity.  At Creation, “the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being” (Gen 2:7).  There is no clearer image than this of God’s desire to impart His own life into man, who is made in His image and likeness.  Adam and Eve’s fall into sin robbed them (and us) of their inheritance as God’s children, but the entire story of salvation reveals God’s plan to restore and renew His life in us.  So vivid is this image of God’s breath in man that it appears again at the time of the prophet, Ezekiel.  God’s people, Israel, were in exile in Babylon; they had been ravaged by their enemies as punishment for their covenant unfaithfulness.  They represent all of us who are spiritually dead and entirely helpless.  However, in His unrelenting determination to restore His people, God says to Ezekiel (whom He called “son of man”):  “’Son of man, can these bones live?’  And I answered, ‘O LORD God, Thou knowest.’  Again He said, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD…Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live…and you shall know that I am the LORD’” (Ez 36:3-6).

When we know this Old Testament history, Jesus breathing on the apostles on Resurrection Day no longer seems so odd, does it?  In this gesture, He begins the divinization of man, always God’s intention for His children.  The renewal of humanity begins, once again, with the breath of God.  For the apostles, this unique action enabled them to truly be Jesus’ continuing presence on earth.  They will forgive or retain sins, an action reserved for Divinity.  What about the rest of us?  Will the breath of God blow on us, too?  The other readings will help answer this question.

Possible response:  Father, thank You for loving us enough to share Your own breath with us—a marvel beyond description.

First Reading (Read Acts 2:1-11)

At His Ascension, Jesus told the apostles not to start on their mission of making disciples of all nations until they received “power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8).  This helps us see that Jesus’ action of breathing on them on Resurrection Day was an initiation into the Holy Spirit, not the fullness they were meant to have.   For that, Jesus had them wait for the Jewish feast of Pentecost, nine days later.  Pentecost originally had been a harvest festival in the Jewish liturgical calendar; gradually it also became associated with a memorial celebration of God’s giving of the Law to His people at Mt. Sinai, when they had been delivered from slavery in Egypt.  The Law, or Torah, gave the people a way of life that would distinguish them from all other peoples on earth.  To seal the covenant, God actually came down on top of Mt.  Sinai, manifested in fire, smoke, thunder, an earthquake, and the loud sound of a trumpet (see Ex 19:16-19).  It was quite the fireworks show!

We need to know this history, because it helps us understand why Jesus waited until Pentecost to send the Holy Spirit on His Church.  Drawing on all the parallels with God’s visit to Mt. Sinai, the Jews gathered there in Jerusalem that day could comprehend this action as the “harvest” of God’s people, ready now, because of Jesus’ accomplished work, to receive God’s new Law of Love, to be written not on stone tablets but in the hearts of men by the Holy Spirit.  Just as God’s descent on Sinai meant the formation of Israel as a nation, the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost meant the formation of Jews and Gentiles into the Church, the new Israel.

Of course, the events on Pentecost evoke the deep symbolism of wind and fire throughout the Old Testament, not just at the Mt. Sinai covenant.  At Creation, “the wind” of God (literally, God’s “breath”) hovered over the waters of the earth, ready to do God’s bidding as He brought forth life (Gen 1:2).  The “wind” of God also blew apart the waters of the Red Sea so God’s people could escape from their enemies, the Egyptians.  As for fire, recall that God first appeared to Moses, the deliverer of His people, in a fiery bush.  Also, the people had to follow a pillar of fire to make their way home to the Promised Land.

The more we know of the imagery representing God in the Old Testament, the more we understand the Descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost as an explosion of fulfilled promises!  See that the tongues of fire rested over each of the apostles.  They will now be God’s presence in His Church, leading His people on their journey home to heaven.  To this day, the bishops of the Church, who are successors of these apostles, wear hats (mitres) in the shape of a flame of fire.  They are marked out as our pillars of fire, leading us on our pilgrim journey home to heaven.

What about the effects of all this amazing action?  The apostles were miraculously able to communicate the Gospel in the foreign tongues of the Jews assembled there.  All male Jews were required to make a yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem for this feast; that explains why “there were devout Jews from every nation” there.  This immediately evokes the history of Babel (see Gen 11:1-9).  There human pride made a grab at heaven by building a tower up to God.  The solidarity of men (made possible by one language) was perverted to accomplish an evil end.  God broke it by confusing the one language into many.  Now, in the fullness of time, God grants the human solidarity for which man longs (because he is made for that) but which he cannot naturally achieve.  The Holy Spirit creates supernatural solidarity, represented here by all men being able to hear, in their own language, the mighty works of God.  This time, God reaches down to man rather than man trying to climb up to God.

So, now that we understand something of the background of Pentecost, we can ask whether all the rest of us who aren’t apostles will also have a share in this breath of God.  The answer is YES.  In verses not included in today’s reading, Peter answers the “what about us?” question:  “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:28).  Jesus wants to breathe on all of us and thus renew the face of the earth.

Possible response:  Lord Jesus, may Your Church always live in the joy of Pentecost, in awe of Your power and presence.

Psalm (Read Ps 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34)

Today’s psalm celebrates the life-giving power of God’s Spirit.  Written long before the Day of Pentecost, it nevertheless summarizes both the past and the future.  “If you take away their breath, they perish and return to their dust” (Ps 104:29) reminds us of the Fall, at the beginning of man’s story.  Disobedience led to death:  “You are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen 3:19b).  “When You send forth Your Spirit, they are created, and You renew the face of the earth” (Ps 104:30) describes our celebration today.  The world, weary in sin, is in dire need of refreshment and renewal.  Maybe we are, too.  The psalm response is the perfect Pentecost prayer:  “Lord, send out Your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.”

Possible response: The psalm is, itself, a response to our other readings.  Read it again prayerfully to make it your own.

Second Reading (Read 1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13)

The Gospel showed us God’s desire to once again breathe His life into man.  The Book of Acts showed us that the gift of God’s breath, the Holy Spirit, entered the stream of human history on the Day of Pentecost, producing miraculous results.  In the epistle, St. Paul gives us a theological reflection on the meaning of all this history.  He explains that none of us can confess Jesus as Lord without the Holy Spirit.  Our Christian faith is, itself, a work of God’s breath, the Spirit, in us.  That Spirit gives to believers a wide variety of spiritual gifts, creating diversity of service in His Church.  However, because it is “the same God” Who produces this diversity, we are “one body.”  St. Paul’s emphasis here is on the unity created by the Holy Spirit.  Let’s consider this for a moment.

Unity is the distinguishing characteristic of the Trinity—three Persons in One.  Man, created in the image and likeness of God, is hard-wired for unity, for communion with both God and others.  Sin shattered this unity (recall the immediate fracture of Adam and Eve’s relationship with God and each other in the Garden).  Babel showed us that when men actually cobble together unity, their pride bends them towards a perverse use of it.  God’s descent on Mt. Sinai was for the purpose of forming one nation for Himself out of many tribes.  He gave them one way to worship and one law to live by.  In time, that nation fractured, and a large part of it completely disappeared.  Men cannot create unity for themselves, although their hearts long for it.  Fittingly, unity in His Church was the one thing for which Jesus prayed as He faced His Passion:  “I…pray…that they may all be one…so that the world may believe that You have sent Me” (Jn 17:20-21).

On Pentecost, God sent His breath to create supernatural unity.  It was experienced immediately among the first converts, and it is a constant manifestation of God’s breath in His Church, 2000 years later.  The life of Jesus in us, the Holy Spirit, holds us in His one Body.  Unity at last—alleluia!

Possible response:  Lord Jesus, forgive me when I rebel against unity—wanting my own way, isolating myself.  Let Your Spirit lead me to the unity for which my heart longs.

Gayle Somers is a member of St. Thomas the Apostle parish in Phoenix and has been writing and leading parish Bible studies since 1996. She is the author of three bible studies, Galatians: A New Kind of Freedom Defended (Basilica Press), Genesis: God and His Creation and Genesis: God and His Family (Emmaus Road Publishing). Gayle and her husband Gary reside in Phoenix

49 posted on 05/28/2012 5:23:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Pentecost: the Difference the Spirit Makes

Pentecost: the Difference the Spirit Makes

As a teen, I thought the clergy were supposed to do everything.   We laity were just called to pray, pay, and obey.  Oh yes, and keep the commandments, of course.  The original 10 seemed overwhelming enough.  Then I discovered the Sermon on the Mount and nearly passed out.

Perhaps this is why many inactive Catholics are so resentful of their upbringing in the Church.   For them, religion means frustration, failure, and guilt.

Somehow they, and I, missed the good news about Pentecost.  OK, we Catholics celebrate the feast every year and mention it in Confirmation class, but lots of us evidently didn’t “get it.”

Because if we “got it,” we’d be different . . . bold instead of timid, energetic instead of anemic, fascinated instead of bored.   Compare the apostles before and after Pentecost and you’ll see the difference the Spirit makes.

The gospel is Good News not just because we’re going to heaven, but because we’ve been empowered to become new people, here and now.  Vatican II insisted that each of us is called to the heights of holiness (Lumen Gentium, chapter V).  Not by will-power, mind you.  But by Holy Spirit power. Holiness consists in faith, hope, and especially divine love.  These are “virtues,” literally “powers,” given by the Spirit.  To top it off, the Spirit gives us seven further gifts which perfect faith, hope, and love, making it possible for us to live a supernatural, charismatic life.  Some think this is only for the chosen few, “the mystics.”  Thomas Aquinas taught to the contrary that the gifts of Isaiah 11:1-3 (wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, piety, fortitude, and fear of the Lord) are standard equipment given in baptism, that all are called to be “mystics.”

Vatican II also taught that every Christian has a vocation to serve.  We need power for this too.  And so the Spirit distributes other gifts, called “charisms.”  These, teachesSt. Thomas, are not so much for our own sanctification as for service to others.  There is no exhaustive list of charisms, though St. Paul mentions a few (I Corinthians 12:7-10, Romans 12:6-8) ranging from tongues to Christian marriage (1 Corinthians7: 7).  Charisms are not doled out by the pastors; but are given directly by the Spirit through baptism and confirmation, even sometimes outside of the sacraments (Acts 10:44-48).

Do I sound Pentecostal?  That’s because I belong to the largest Pentecostal Church in the world.  Correcting the mistaken notion that the charisms were just for the apostolic church, Vatican II had this to say: “Allotting His gifts “to everyone according as he will” (1 Cor. 12:11), He [the Holy Spirit] distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank. . . . These charismatic gifts, whether they be the most outstanding or the more simple and widely diffused, are to be received with thanksgiving and consolation, for they are exceedingly suitable and useful for the needs of the Church” (LG12).

Powerful gifts, freely given to all.  Sounds like a recipe for chaos.  But the Lord also imparted to the apostles and their successors a unifying charism of headship.  The role of the ordained is not to do everything themselves.  Rather, they are to discern, shepherd, and coordinate the charisms of the laity so that they mature and work together for the greater glory of God (LG 30).

So what if you, like me, did not quite “get it” when you were confirmed?   I’ve got good news for you.  You actually did get the Spirit and his gifts.   Have you ever received a new credit card with a sticker saying “Must call to activate before using?”  The Spirit and his gifts are the same way.  You have to call in and activate them.   Do it today and every day, and especially every time you attend Mass.  Because every sacramental celebration is a New Pentecost where the Spirit and his gifts are poured out anew (CCC 739, 1106).

That’s why the Christian Life is an adventure.  There will always be new surprises of the Spirit!


50 posted on 05/28/2012 5:25:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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