This weekend is Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th of June. The Solemnity of Pentecost.

Cristobal Fones sings The Fire of Justice descends from above.

The gospel readings we have prayed with in the last week have brought us very close to Jesus, sitting beside him at the Last Supper, sharing breakfast with him after the Resurrection, savouring the meaning of his words.

How has that intimacy with Jesus felt for you?  Has it been something new?   Has it been something difficult – a bit too much?   And what was the feel of those encounters?  Was there a seriousness about them?  Or lightness and joy?   Was there warmth or a certain matter-of-fact-ness about them?  – a sense of heaviness, or awkwardness, or of ease?

In the other passages we’ve heard this week, we have heard of the enthusiasm and courage with which Paul and the early Christians shared and spread their faith.   Today, though, we go back to what was a foundational experience for that early Church, the event known as Pentecost, that took place when the apostles were gathered in Jerusalem, described here in the Acts of the Apostles.

Have you ever had the experience of being in a foreign country, or a place where people speak differently, and unexpectedly hearing someone speak your mother tongue, or your local dialect?  Can you remember what that felt like?  The surprise?  The strangely familiar words and cadences?  That moment of feeling a little bit “at home”?

Is that, perhaps, one way that God speaks to you?  When you feel you are being told something that somehow, and perhaps a little strangely, is not alien, not foreign, but from deep within you, “at home” in you, already in your mouth and in your heart?

And have you ever had the experience of managing to communicate with someone even though you don’t speak their language?  By pointing, perhaps, or signing, or by the expression on your face? ....managing to understand each other because there are basic human experiences we all share – and needs, and desires, and hopes – so that we easily recognise them in others?

Might that too be a way in which God communicates with you?  Speaking to you not in words, but in your experiences, in your needs, your desires and hopes, stirring feelings in your heart – or, less poetically, in your gut! – reaching you in a way that you just instinctively recognise?

The Pentecost scene described here is a vivid and colourful one – tongues of fire, a powerful wind...  As the passage is read again, how does the scene play out in your mind’s eye?  What did it all look like, and sound like?

Our day-to-day lives, on the whole, are probably a little less spectacular than that dramatic scene, but the Holy Spirit is no less present to us now than it was to them, then.  There may not be tongues of flame and the sound of a powerful wind, but God’s Spirit is present here now, present in this place, present within you, because you are a temple of the Holy Spirit.  Knowing that God’s Spirit is with you right now, what do you want to say to him?