Reflections for Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pentecost Sunday

Meditation and 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)

Experiencing More Deeply the Power of the Holy Spirit

They were all astounded and bewildered.” (Acts 2:12)

If there’s one truth we should take as our anchor on this great feast day, it’s this: Pentecost is for everybody! Parthians, Medes, and Elamites. Residents of America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Citizens of Poland, Japan, Korea, and Kazakhstan. Everyone!

Today’s first reading encompasses the whole known world at the time of Christ, in the form of the list of visitors to Jerusalem who witnessed the outpouring of the Spirit on the apostles. And from that day forward, nothing has changed. Though we haven’t yet seen the fulfillment, it is our heavenly Father’s deepest desire to pour his Spirit into every man, woman, and child in creation.

We all need the Holy Spirit because he alone can enable and empower us to live the life that Jesus won for us on the cross. We need the Spirit to guide us to the truth, especially the truth about Jesus. Every day a barrage of information and opinion tries to take the place of the only One who gives eternal life. But in the midst of all this noise, the Spirit continues to speak, telling us every day that Jesus wants to act powerfully in our lives.

But the Spirit doesn’t just speak to our hearts. He also gives us the words—God’s own words—to comfort those who mourn and to encourage those who falter. He gives us the wisdom, too, to know when to listen instead of speak. He offers to teach us how to move ahead in peace, confident in his leading, even when we can’t see where the road leads.

That outpouring of the Spirit in the sight of people from all over the world stands as God’s public notice: “I have not left you desolate. I will help you. I will teach and encourage you, empower and energize you to do the things I call you to do.”

So open your heart wide today, and ask the Father to give you more of his Holy Spirit.

“Father, I need your Spirit! Come and fill me today, as at the first Pentecost!”

(Many thanks to The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) for allowing us to use meditations from their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission. The Word Among Us Mass Edition contains all the readings and a meditation for each of the daily and Sunday Masses.)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Questions for Reflection/Discussion

  1. In the first reading, we recall the events of the day of Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit, and the phenomena accompanying it.  Through this miraculous work, we see the Holy Spirit becoming the unifier of his people in the early church. He is also the unifier for all of us as well. How can you use the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life and others to strengthen the unity within your parish and among family members?
  2. The Responsorial Psalm speaks of God renewing the face of the earth.  This renewal begins with each one of us. How would you describe the renewal that God may want to do in your life?
  3. The second reading reminds us that the Holy Spirit works in each of us differently in order to benefit the whole Church.  This includes “different kinds of spiritual gifts.” What gifts do you feel you have been given that can be used in a greater way to build up the Church?  How can you use them for the benefit of others in your family?
  4. In the Gospel, Jesus’ first words to the disciples after his resurrection were words of consolation and reassurance: “peace be with you”. Jesus desires to speak these words to each of us. In the midst of the many distractions, and the busyness of our day, it is easy to lose our peace. What are the obstacles in you that can keep you from experiencing the Lord’s peace? What are some practical steps you can take to overcome these obstacles?
  5. The meditation reminds us that “We all need the Holy Spirit because he alone can enable and empower us to live the life that Jesus won for us on the cross.” The meditation ends with these words:” So open your heart wide today, and ask the Father to give you more of his Holy Spirit.” What steps can you take to open yourself to a deeper experience of the power of the Holy Spirit?
  6. Take some time now to pray and ask the Father for a deeper infilling of the Holy Spirit in your life. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.

These reflection questions are provided courtesy of The Word Among Us.