Pentecost Sunday – May 28, 2023
Two snakes were slithering through a field, when one of them turns to the other and asks, “Do you suppose we’re poisonous snakes?”
“I don’t know,” replied the other, “Why?”
“Well,” said the first snake, I just bit my lip!”
The Solemnity of Pentecost has nothing to do with biting our lips! Far from it! It’s about…..
- NOT keeping our lips shut and telling everyone everywhere, the good News of Jesus Christ!
- Recognizing God’s presence deep within us and allowing that divine presence to percolate up and come out of us in new and unexpected ways!
- Relying on the Holy Spirit to speak and act and breath and move in us and all around us!
May be surprised to know that this feast actually has its origins in Judaism!
- Where it’s also called Pentecost
- Comes from the fact that it took the Jews 7 weeks (49 days) to travel from Egypt to the foot of Mt Sinai.
- On 50th day, Moses received the 10 commandments.
- For Jews, Pentecost celebrates the giving of the Torah to the Jewish Nation,
50 days after being liberated from Slavery in Egypt.
- Coincides with the Jews’ giving of the first fruits of their harvest on Shavuot.
And God, who’s never outdone in generosity, in return, gives his Divine Word to the Hebrew Nation for nourishment and strength on their journey through the desert to the Promised Land on Pentecost.
Even more parallels with the Jewish celebration and our Solemnity of Pentecost!
- Mary and disciples praying for the coming of the HS all night…..same as on Shavuot, where Jews stay up all night studying the Torah to receive God’s divine presence in the Word.
- RC church associates Pentecost with Confirmation….just as Reform Jews in secondary school who have already celebrated their bar or bat mitzvahs, continue to study the Torah and receive it in a celebration called Confirmation near or on the feast of Shavuot!
- When Moses descends the mountain, horrified to find that the Jews had made a golden calf to worship, and he breaks the Ten Commandments and a fight ensues and 3K men were killed on that day.
- Fast Forward to after the disciples and Mary received the HS at Pentecost, scripture notes that when Peter preaches to the crowds, “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”
- The infidelity in the OT is blotted out by the expression of faith in the NT.
- The Church becomes the fulfillment of Israel’s prayer for liberation and salvation!
We’ve been blessed with 50 days to celebrate the awesome ways God has intervened in human history in order to demonstrate his love and the many blessings we’ve been given as the People of God!
Easter’s deliberately longer than Lent because God’s grace is always more powerful than sinfulness. Romans 5: 20 says, “where sin abounded, grace abounded, all the more!” We’re…
- Blessed with the Word of God!
- Blessed with being made justified by the grace of our faith in Christ.
- Blessed with the Redemption won for us by Jesus’ Precious Blood shed on the Cross!
- Blessed with the promise of eternal life with God and all the angels and saints in Heaven!
- Blessed with the new and eternal covenant, celebrated at every Mass when Jesus descends from Heaven and enters into a simple piece of bread and an ordinary cup of wine.
- Blessed with the indwelling of the HS, to guide and transform us, day by day!
- Blessed with the gifts and fruits of the HS to empower us to be more like Christ each day and to witness to the world that the K of G has come near!
- Blessed with the courage to make God’s kingdom a reality by working for Peace and Social Justice in our world!
- Blessed with being stewards of all creation, and being co-creators with God in bringing new life into our world, new hope for those in the shadows of death, and a penetrating love which can vanquish the powers of sin once and for all.
- Blessed with being members of Gods One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, which stands as a signpost for all to recognize, that this world and everyone and everything in it, belongs to God and no power of Satan can ever overcome the church founded by Christ and led by God’s Holy Spirit!
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