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Reflection – Pentecost May 17, 2024

Pentecost Sunday
2024 Pentecost Gospel Reflection

It is unfortunate that Pentecost somehow gets lost in comparison with all the other important church feasts and celebrations.

 

After all, Christmas is anticipated by everyone because of all the shopping and Christmas presents and big family gatherings. The Easter event is dramatic and its liturgies very distinct. The bigger bonus for most people is that normally Easter marks the start of school holidays. But nothing really happens at Pentecost! Sure the vestments are red, but there are no extended holidays, no presents, no hot cross buns, no special family gatherings and meals – nothing that makes you want to remember that it is Pentecost.

 

That’s a tragedy because Pentecost is more than the afterglow of Easter – it is Easter’s culmination!

 

This thing we call Christianity did not start with Christmas or Easter. The church and the proclamation of the Good News got started when Peter and the disciples ignored their fear of the Jewish religious leaders, came out from hiding, and started telling anyone who would listen what Jesus had done in their lives. That was, and is, the first task of the Church, to tell people the Good News of what Jesus has done in our lives.

 

The thrust of Pentecost and the story of the Early Church is how the risen Lord worked through the community through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Weak Peter becomes a forceful leader. Skeptical disciples move from dejection into mission. Fear disappears to be replaced by eloquent witness. The signs and wonders worked in Jesus’ ministry by the power of the Spirit now continue in the ministry of the first believers.

 

For those first believers, Pentecost was a moment of profound realisation and transformation. The Word they had heard and the wonders they had witnessed came together in a moment of understanding, clarity, unity and courage. Actually, when we let go and allow the Spirit to work through us and have the courage to say the things that need to be said and do the things that need to be done, we can often be amazed at how it all comes together in a profound moment of understanding, clarity, unity and courage. For believers, that’s the Holy Spirit!

 

So, while Christmas and Easter could leave us meditating in solitude at the crib scene or lost in wonder at the entrance of the empty tomb, Pentecost can awaken us anew to the transforming gift of the Holy Spirit. Empowered still by the Holy Spirit, our task is really no different from that of Peter and the first disciples, to live lives matched by actions that eloquently tell people the Good News of what Jesus has done for us.

 

Wishing you and yours every blessing on this great feast of Pentecost,

Fr Peter Brannelly

 

 

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