for He is going to say,
“I came as a guest, and you received Me” (Matt. 25:35).
And to all let due honor be shown,
especially to the domestics of the faith and to pilgrims…
Gospel John 16:12-15
“He will lead you to the complete truth”
There can be little more reassuring a line than these words of Jesus in John’s Gospel.
The disciples had been with Jesus for some time, and yet he remained for them a mystery.
Here he is, truth incarnate – a truth at once so simple and yet so complex that despite their personal knowledge of the man and his physical presence with them, he remained beyond the reach of their understanding.
I am struck, particularly in this year of mercy, of how God so understands fallen human nature in all its foibles and shortcomings. It seems that the whole of salvation history reads as a divine pedagogy of sorts, where God reveals himself gradually over time – beginning with Abraham, through Moses and the Prophets, before finally and fully revealing his very self in the person of Jesus. And yet, despite the event of this full, unreserved revelation, in his infinite mercy God ensures the ongoing reception of this truth in and through the person of his Holy Spirit.
While new revelations of God are no longer needed, the ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit in the world and in the Church prevent what has already been revealed in the Scripture and through the Tradition does not remain a dead letter, but remains active and dynamic in the life of the Church.
We pray to, in, and through the Holy Spirit, and trust in his continuing presence amongst us. We ask for him to continue to animate our lives so that the Christian faith does not become for us a museum piece, but instead remains a living presence, an event, an encounter which gives life a ‘new horizon and a decisive direction’, which reveals us to our very self and makes our supreme calling clear.
Prayer for the day
Taken from the Office of Readings for Trinity Sunday
God our Father,
you revealed the great mystery of your godhead to men
when you sent into the world
the Word who is Truth
and the Spirit who makes us holy.
Help us to believe in you and worship you,
as the true faith teaches:
three Persons, eternal in glory,
one God, infinite in majesty.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Gospel John 14:15-16,23-26
“He will give you another Advocate…”
The feast of Pentecost comes fifty days after the feast of the resurrection, and marks the close of the Easter season.
In the Christian tradition it can seem that we are constantly in the process of celebrating or remembering some significant event from long ago. This way of marking time is not however unique to the Catholic Christian tradition – it is something that is broadly human. We gather to mark special days on the calendar, be they birthdays, anniversaries of weddings, deaths, or other memorable events.
This natural phenomenon of collective remembering causes us to pause not just to remember something in the past, but also something continuing, something that is happening today.
If, for example, we are celebrating our birthday, we think not just about the fact of our birth, but of all that has happened since, and all that potentially lies before us. We celebrate the gifts of the year that has past, and the gift of the present.
On this particular day of Pentecost we recall a special gift, bestowed upon us, the Church, by Jesus himself –the gift of the Holy Spirit.
This Spirit, gifted to the Apostles by Jesus, is the same Spirit which animates us in the Church today. This Spirit, the Advocate, is the Spirit which hovered over the waters in the beginning; the same Spirit who inspired the authors of the Sacred Scriptures; the same Spirit who overshadowed the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom she gave her fiat; the same Spirit who descended on Mary and the Apostles at Pentecost; and who now resides in the hearts of all the baptised.
This feast which we remember on Sunday is not simply a memory of an event long past, but an opportunity for us to step into the ongoing lived reality of the Spirit’s constant coming.
Veni Sancte Spiritus Veni per Mariam
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And You shall renew the face of the earth.
Veni Sancte Spiritus Veni per Mariam
Come Holy Spirit, Come through Mary