Speak Lord: Send your Spirit….

Pentecost

The first reading for the Mass of the Day, at Pentecost is the following passage from Acts of the Apostles.

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.’

Acts 2:1-11

For the Vigil of Pentecost a range of alternative first readings is offered, that of the story of Babel and over-weaning human ambition; God’s confirmation to Moses and the the people of his continued covenant with Israel; the vision of Ezekiel of dry bones brought to life at the word of God;  Joel’s prophesy of a fresh pouring out of the spirit, to bring about judgement and salvation. All these episodes relate in one way or another to the episode recounted in Acts.

And our life today is lived out in the wake of the gifts of God being shared with us, for our good and the good of the world.

  • How will you use the gift of speech today?

Image of Pentecost from the Fleischman Rosary Triptych in the Church of Our Lady, St Johns Wood. (C) 2011, Allen Morris.

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