Sunday Reflections

Pentecost Sunday – May 19, 2024

Reflection by:

Reflection by:

Fr. Paul Voisin, CR

In 1971, when I was a seminarian, our recently elected Polish Superior General came to visit the Ontario-Kentucky Province.  The formal Visitation began with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  During the prayer, the Divine Praises, Father General meant to say, “Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete”, when instead he said, “Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Parakeet”.  It was hard for people to keep a straight face, but out of respect for him, and his struggles with English, no one laughed out loud in the Chapel.

The Holy Spirit has a variety of names.  In today’s gospel we hear some of them.  On this Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples, and into our lives as His disciples.  For many the Holy Spirit is very mysterious.  It is easy for us to understand the Father, as revealed in the Hebrew Scriptures, and by Jesus.  It is easy to relate to Jesus, God-made-man, as we encounter Him in the gospels.  But the Holy Spirit seems more elusive and more difficult for us to understand and articulate.

In particular, we look to the name for the Holy Spirit that I mentioned early, the ‘Paraclete’.  This is a rich biblical word.  It means “the one who hears the cry of the poor”.  What a beautiful definition!  When we turn to the Holy Spirit, it is most often in our ‘poverty – our need, our confusion, our frustration, our uncertainty, when things are not going the way we had planned.  The Holy Spirit hears our cry and comes to us in our need.  This may take many forms:  in our prayer, through Sacred Scripture, in the testimony of another, or in the teachings of the Church.  God the Father extends Himself to us, but sometimes we are not willing to come to the Father on His terms.  God the Son calls us, but sometimes we do not want to be saved.  God the Holy Spirit, is there for us, but sometimes we prefer to remain poor and vulnerable rather than accept a truth that is not to our liking.

On this Pentecost Sunday, let us open ourselves to the power of the Spirit, just as it descended upon the apostles, so that we too might go forth and proclaim the Good News, and – filled with the Holy Spirit – BE the Good News in the world today.

Share This Post

More To Explore

Sunday Reflections

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time – June 23, 2024

Like the disciples and the early Christians in Mark’s community, we too can feel overwhelmed and afraid. But precisely in these situations the words of the Risen Christ continue to speak to us, reminding us that there is nothing that can ever come between us and the love of God in Christ Jesus. Let us not be afraid…

Read More »