Pentecost Sunday, Cycle A

Engaging Faith | Fri, May 2, 2008

By John Bucki, SJ
Source: Center of Concern

Pentecost Sunday

May 11, 2008



Acts 2:1-11

1 Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13

John 20:19-23



May 11: Pentecost

May 15: International Day of Families




The Church herself will never cease putting questions, trusting in the help of the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth.

John Paul II

Nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see.

On the contrary, everything is sacred.

~ Teilhard de Chardin


Globalization has humanity poised between two poles. On the one hand, there is a growing sense of interconnectedness and interdependency between peoples even when - geographically and culturally speaking - they are far apart. This new situation offers the potential for enhancing a sense of global solidarity and shared responsibility for the well-being of mankind. On the other hand, we cannot deny that the rapid changes occurring in our world also present some disturbing signs of fragmentation and a retreat into individualism. .... a faithful witness to the Gospel is as urgent as ever. Christians are challenged to give a clear account of the hope that they hold (cf. 1 Pet 3:15).

Benedict XVI, 18 April 2008, New York City


May Christ inflame the desires of all people to break through the barriers which divide them, to strengthen the bonds of mutual love, to learn to understand one another, and to pardon those who have done them wrong. Through Christ's power and inspiration may all peoples welcome each other to their hearts as brothers and sisters, and may the peace they long for ever flower and ever reign among them.

John XXIII, Pacem in Terris 171


Finding one's own voice, however, haltingly, imparts the power of the Spirit crying out. The boldness to hear the claim of conscience and follow its deep impulses even in the face of loss; the courage to taste righteous anger and allow it to motivate critical resistance to evil; the willingness to utter the prophetic word - these occurrences inscribe the movement of the Spirit's compassion into the ambiguity of the world. 

Elizabeth Johnson CSJ, She Who Is, 126


Thoughts for your consideration


Today, as we celebrate the power of the Spirit in the church, the scriptures remind us that the Spirit is a social Spirit - a Spirit that leads us to a certain solidarity with each other, the whole world, and all its people.  The Spirit does more than make individuals feel good or different. The Spirit changes behavior and moves us into community. 


The coming of the Spirit transformed the early Christian community.

Locked doors were opened.

Fear was replaced by courage.

Peace was proclaimed.

The power to forgive sins was present.

Those who were afraid spoke boldly.

Thousands heard the message in their own language.


The coming of the Spirit today is reflected in our social values.

            In a world of racism and xenophobia,

                        the Spirit speaks to people of every nation under heaven.

            In a world of fear and doubt,

                        the Spirit inspires people to open doors and to speak out.

            In a world of selfishness, competition, and control,

                        the Spirit gives out gifts that are shared for the benefit of all.

            In a world were do many people lack basic freedoms,

                        the Spirit invites us to work for honesty and freedom for all.

In a world with war and violence,

                        the Spirit proclaims a message of peace to all.

            In a world of with great wealth and affluence,

                        the Spirit calls us again to a special concern for the poor.


The gifts of the Spirit are for liberation.  We might say that the Spirit is an inclusive spirit who desires to set everyone free. 


Maybe the greatest manifestation of the spirit is when people have the grace to identify with the needs and struggles of the world, to listen to those who are poor or oppressed, and to speak up for justice. As the theologian Elizabeth Johnson says above: "Finding one's own voice, however, haltingly, imparts the power of Spirit crying out."



Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group

When have you had the ability or the courage to speak up in a difficult situation? 

What happened? What were the results?  What did you learn?



Actions - Links

Sojourners,, is a Christian ministry whose mission is to proclaim and practice the biblical call to integrate spiritual renewal and social justice.   Their web site has a section called Faith in Action which allows one to take action online concerning an action of social justice.  Go to:



"Crazy Facts"


Freedom House, an organization that traces its history back to Eleanor Roosevelt in 1941, is a source of information on the state of freedom around the globe.  At present they report that for 194 nations, 73 have a free press, 54 have a partial free press, and 67 have no freedom of press.


Prayers of Intercession


Response:  Come, Holy Spirit.

For the willingness to take time to listen to and learn from others who are in need, we pray....

For the gift to speak up on issues of justice and peace, we pray....

For the wisdom to discern the end to the war in Iraq, we pray....

For the perseverance needed to keep working for affordable health care for all, we pray....

For transparency and integrity in all our governments and in all our public officials, we pray

For the guidance of the spirit as our election year moves forward, we pray....

For the strength to always work together for the common good of all, we pray....




From Blessed John XXIII:


"O Holy Spirit, Paraclete, perfect in us the work begun by Jesus:  enable us to continue to pray fervently in the name of the whole world:  hasten in everyone of us the growth of a profound interior life; give vigor to our apostolate so that it may reach all men and all peoples, all redeemed by the Blood of Christ and all belonging to him. Mortify in us our natural pride, and raise us to the realms of holy humility, of real fear of God, of generous courage. Let no earthly bond prevent us from honoring our vocation, no cowardly considerations disturb the claims of justice, no meanness confine the immensity of charity within the narrow bounds of petty selfishness. Let everything in us be on a grand scale:  the search for truth and the devotion to it, and readiness for self-sacrifice, even to the cross and death; and may everything finally be according to the last prayer of the Son to his heavenly Father, and according to the pouring out of your Spirit, O Holy Spirit of love, whom the Father and the Son desired to be poured out over the Church and her institutions, over the souls of men and of nations."

(Discorsi Messaggi Colloqui, cit., IV, p. 350).


PDF icon Pentecost, Cycle A.pdf145.58 KB