Pentecost (Note & Bulletin)

"Receive The Holy Spirit." [John 20:22]

One of my favourite religious songs is called "Jubilate Servite." The words of the song are "Jubilate Deo omnis terra, servite Domino in laetitia" ("Make a joyful sound to God, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness"). At the end of these two lines, the choir repeats the word of praise "Alleluia!" And the effect of the song's setting, in which sections of the choir have begun singing at different times, is that it sounds as if one is surrounded by the sound of praise. One cannot help but be moved by the repetition of "Alleluia." I often think that the sound of praise is the sound of the Church and is our sound here at Lourdes. This is especially true this week, as we celebrate Pentecost Sunday, the birth of the Church through the reception of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

In the First Reading, we hear in Acts how "suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they [the apostles] 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." Saint Paul writes in the Second Reading, "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit." And in the Gospel, we hear how the apostles rejoiced when they saw the Risen Lord and how he said to them, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit." To receive the Holy Spirit is to receive the in dwelling of God within our hearts. God now call each of us his home. It is for us to imagine and understand what this means.

Saint Augustine described the Holy Spirit as the love between God the Father and God the Son. Augustine said that the Holy Spirit is love itself: "...if there be among the gifts of God none greater than love, and there is no greater gift of God than the Holy Spirit… that He is Himself love." In other words, when we receive the Holy Spirit and the Spirit calls each of us his home, we are receiving love itself. And love itself is where we live. I cannot imagine a more profoundly beautiful foundation for our faith and the living of that faith. We do not come from ideas or rules, rather we come from love. When the Risen Lord sends us out into the world to proclaim the Good News, we are sent to proclaim love, and to make love more present and real in the lives of every person. As we seek to live our faith and to meet the many demands in our lives, there are times when it all feels too much. On this Pentecost Sunday, let us remember with our hearts the meaning of this day – God who is love lives within you. If you ever judge yourself too harshly, thinking that God's goodness is for other but not you, remember that this cannot be true. God call you his home. When we come to understand the free gift of God's love more deeply, we cannot help but be moved. And then from the depths of our being, we begin to see more clearly, and then we cry-out: "Jubilate Deo omnis terra, servite Domino in laetitia. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!"

God Bless and Take Care!

Weekly Parish Bulletin247.39 KB

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