MAY 31, 2020

PENTECOST SUNDAY

C. VANESSA

WHITE

Spirit of the Living God, Fall Fresh on Me

Spirit of the Living God, Fall Fresh on Me

Melt Me, Mold Me, Fill Me, Use Me.

Spirit of the Living God, Fall Fresh on Me.

In the African American religious experience, there are many spiritual songs and hymns that attest to the presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the community. Such songs as Spirit of the Living God, Every Time I Feel the Spirit, I’m Gonna Move When the Spirit Say Move and There’s a Sweet Spirit describes the power and presence of the Holy Spirit to move and animate a community of faith as well as individual persons.

I am reminded of these songs as I read and pray with the Acts of the Apostles and in particular the Pentecost event described in Acts 2. You know, the Holy Spirit is so evident and present in the Acts of the Apostles that it could even be called the Gospel of the Holy Spirit, and I believe many scholars have done just that. .

The Holy Spirit as described in the Acts of the Apostles is a living Spirit that moves the community from fear to fearlessness, from faltering to faith, from powerlessness to passionate power. The Spirit transformed individuals into an inclusive community that then became a missionary church. In many Christian churches today, it is the custom for members of the congregation to wear red to celebrate Pentecost event, which, as the author whom we call Luke describes as tongues of fire. Even today many will still wear our red, in solidarity with one another during this time of physical and social distancing. We will be reminded that the Pentecost event was experienced by people of many races and ethnicities during difficult times. .

Every Time I Feel the Spirit Moving In My Heart I Shall Pray

Every time I feel the Spirit Moving in My Heart I Shall Pray

As people of faith living during a time of the pandemic, we are called to pray and to listen to the Holy Spirit which will move us to the right action. We have seen how social media has been used to bring communities together in prayer, in song, to teach and preach, through spiritual practices – such as global rosaries, novenas and contemplative practices and virtual retreats. We have already seen during this time, how communities and individuals have responded to the needs of the poor, the recently unemployed, the sick and our elders, our brothers and sisters. We have now begun to slow down and maybe even listen to the Spirit and respond to the needs of our communities. We are reminded in our second reading today in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians that we are all one body and through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are one and that our gifts are to be used for one another.

I’m Gonna Move when the Spirit Say Move

I’m Gonna Move when the Spirit Say Move

When the Spirit Say move, I’m Gonna Move Oh Lord

I’m Gonna Move when the Spirit Say Move.

In today's Gospel Jesus said, as my Father sent me, now I send you and he breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit”. This Spirit moved them to let go of their fear and to be persons of mission.

In these days, we are so in need of that Spirit of fearlessness. Many are afraid of what is to come. As Jesus has reminded us again and again, do not worry, I am with you. We cannot predict the future, but we can allow ourselves to be open to receiving that Sweet Holy Spirit that will give us what we need in the days ahead.

St. Irenaeus of Lyons, one of the first theologians of the Christian Church states that the Spirit came down with power to open the gates of life to all the nations and to make known to them the new covenant. He further writes that in baptism we have become one in body and through the Holy Spirit, we become one in soul. These are powerful and transformative words. Do we truly believe that we are of one body and through the power of the Holy Spirit, one soul? How are we preparing to receive the Holy Spirit Today?

Spirit of the Living God Fall fresh on Me

Spirit of the Living God Fall fresh on Me

Melt Me, Mold Me, Fill Me, Use Me.

Spirit of the Living God, Fall Fresh on Me.

This song, Spirit of the Living God, ends with the invocation to ask the Spirit to melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. As people of faith, we must be open to trusting the Holy Spirit to shape us, fill us, and use us. Like those first disciples in the Upper Room, may we be open to the coming of the Holy Spirit during this time of pandemic to use us and transform us for the good of all.

Finally on this Pentecost, I leave you with the words of Servant of God, Sr. Thea Bowman.

If you believe that the Spirit that lived in Jesus, that the spirit that lived in the disciples, that the spirit that moved in the early church is the same spirit you receive in your baptism and confirmation, say AMEN.

If you believe that you, like Jesus are called by the spirit to share the spirit in the world, to call forth the giftedness of God’s people, say Amen.

And if you believe that the spirit of God is able to transform the water of your reality into purist wine, if you believe there is nothing God can’t do, say AMEN, AMEN, AMEN.

Happy Pentecost

Supportive Prayer Intentions for this week of May 31st during this Covid-19 pandemic:

For those whose mental health is being compromised.

For those whose marital relationships are being strained.

For those contemplating suicide.

For those with tendencies for domestic violence.

For those being extremely challenged with home schooling.

For those who are afraid due to current uncertainties.

For those who are working on developing a vaccine against Covid-19.

For those providing front-line medical services, especially for Alan and Ruth.

For those who continue to serve us at open businesses, especially for Patty at Giant Eagle.

For those who have lost loved ones and can’t attend their funerals.

For those who are not eligible for unemployment benefits.

For those who may soon be losing their jobs, especially for James.

For those whose small businesses have closed, especially for Jenn.

For those being exploited by others to benefit from their hardships.

For those who are residents of nursing care homes.

For those who live alone

For those who are homeless.