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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