Pentecost Sunday, Year “A” 31 May 2020 “The Love of God has been poured into our hearts by his Spirit living in us” Entrance Antiphon
For the Jew, the feast of Pentecost was one of their three great feasts. It first commemorated a thanksgiving celebration in gratitude to God for the yearly harvest about to be reaped. Later, another motive, which was a remembrance of the promulgation of the Law given by God on Mt. Sinai, was added. For the new Christians who were mainly Jews, it became a feast of immense rejoicing for it commemorated the coming of the Holy Spirit with all His gifts and fruits. As the Apostles were gathered together “…suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of violent wind blowing and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as of fire, which settled upon each of them.” Acts 2:2-3 The Holy Spirit often appeared in the Old Testament under the form of wind and fire. Fire appears in Sacred Scripture as love which penetrates all things and as a purifying element. This symbol helps us to understand the action which the Holy Spirit carries out in souls. We pray, “Lord, with the fire of the Holy Spirit, purify our inmost being and our heart.”
Light of the Holy Spirit
Fire also produces light and signifies the new brightness which the Holy Spirit sheds on the doctrine of Jesus Christ: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your mind whatever I have said to you.” Jn. 12:26.
Breath of the Holy Spirit
In the Old Testament the action of the Holy Spirit is often intimated by the word breath. This expresses the gentleness and strength of divine love. The rushing wind on the day of Pentecost expresses the new force with which divine love invades the Church and souls. On the day of Pentecost, St. Peter tells all the Jews who are gathered in Jerusalem from many distant places that the are seeing the fulfilment of the prophet Joel: “And in the last days, it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.” Joel 2:28 Those who receive the Spirit will no longer be a privileged few as the companions of Moses, but they will be all mankind in the measure that they receive Christ. Jesus had said in the temple: “If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture says, ‘From within him there shall flow rivers of living water’ (Is. 12:3) Jn. 7: 37-8. The action of the Holy Spirit produced in Apostles and all who heard them such an admiration that they were all enraptured and full of joy and love. “And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’” Acts 2:12 It certainly was a miracle of grace so that many now accepted Jesus Christ: “Now they who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:41
“They are full of new wine.” Acts 2:13
On Pentecost Sunday, when St. Peter and the apostles spoke, all the Jews of various nations heard them in their own language: “Behold, are not all these Galileans? And how have we heard each his own language in which he was born.” Acts 2:7 Through the power of the Holy Spirit, all heard St. Peter in their own language. This was a fulfilment of the promise of Jesus Christ who spoke of the new wine of His gospel: “Nor do people pour new wine into old wine-skins, else the skins burst, the wine is spilt, and the skins are ruined. But they put new wine into fresh skins, and both are saved.” Mt. 9:17 Although the Jews are speaking in mockery, they are speaking the truth of the “new wine” of the gospel which will go out to all the world, and all who hear the apostles will be the “new wine” of the Holy Spirit in the Catholic Church. “… they spoke with fervour in every tongue; and by this spectacular miracle they foreshadowed the spread of the Catholic Church through all nations speaking every tongue.” (Office of Readings, Saturday of Week Seven in Easter)
The Holy Spirit continues to sanctify every soul every minute of the day. He does this through innumerable inspirations which are all “the attractions, motions, rebukes, and interior compunctions, lights and intuitions which God works in us. So He strengthens our heart with his blessings, with his care and fatherly love, so as to arouse us, move us, impel us and draw us to holy virtues, to heavenly love, to good resolution: in short, to all that leads to our eternal life.” St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to a Devout Life, III, 18 St. Cyril of Jerusalem tells us that “His action in the soul is gentle and mild…He comes to save, to cure, to enlighten.” Catechesis 16 on the Holy Spirit, 1. The Holy Spirit does this by means of many, many actual graces which He gives to each soul every minute of everyday.
Fruits of the Holy Spirit
Because we are so weak, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to enkindle in us the fire of His love. Today’s Sequence shows us we need to correspond to the action of the Holy Spirit with our desires: “…wash what is stained, water our dryness, heal our infirmity, enkindle our tepidity, and direct our straying steps.” Cf. Sequence for the Mass of Pentecost The Holy Spirit will then come with seven gifts which include His twelve fruits: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, generosity, faithfulness, modesty, continence and chastity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#1832) tells us that these fruits are “the first fruits of eternal glory” even here on earth.
Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary for the First Fridays
5 June 2020
“The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.” Friday, 2 June 2017
The Fatima Message of the First Saturdays 6 June 2020
On December 10, 1925, the most holy Virgin appeared to Sister Lucia and said: “Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded by thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console me and say that “I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recited five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes, while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with intention of making reparation to me.” (From Fatima in Lucia’ Own Words, p. 195)