The Convivium Singers sing Veni Creator Spiritus, Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest, and in our hearts take up thy rest.
As we enter into this first reflection on the Holy Spirit, spend some moments asking for the graces of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Acts can, quite appropriately be called the Book of the Holy Spirit. As well as the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the apostles at Pentecost, there are other dramatic moments of similar outpouring showing how the Christian community was nurtured and flourished under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But far from being something simply externally guiding the early Christians, Luke makes it clear that the work of the Holy Spirit is also something intrinsic to them, something that works inside them, transforming their lives after the example of Jesus, and allowing them to proclaim and work wonders in the name of Jesus. As you listen to the story of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, try and enter more deeply into the mystery of this familiar story.
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, 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 Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’
This is a story we’re all very familiar with, and this is the reading we hear every Pentecost, but as you heard it, what struck you most? Perhaps there was a detail that you hadn’t noticed before.
Have you ever experienced the closeness of God in a similar way to the apostles at Pentecost?
There probably weren’t tongues of flame and a rushing wind, but have you ever felt that closeness of God? Does this closeness of God make you feel able to share your experience with others? Do you want to? Do you feel able to?
Ask the Lord for the graces you need to be able to share your faith with others.