In this time leading up to the celebration of Pentecost, I have been particularly mindful of the richness and diversity of the autumn leaves…
They have reminded me of the diversity of charism and gifts bestowed upon the early Christian community and on all those who live the Gospel with a Josephite heart. As well, they have spoken to me of the ‘creative vitality of our abundant and exuberant God’ (SOSJ Chapter Statement 2013) breathing forth the Spirit into our universe with colour and movement, inviting us to join in the great dance of life.
The deep reds, oranges and yellows are colours we often use to celebrate the feast of Pentecost, reminding us of the experience of those first disciples, ‘What seemed like tongues of fire appeared among them’ Acts 1:3.
Today the wind is blowing and the autumn leaves are falling, reminding me of the mighty gush of wind on that first Pentecost day awakening those first disciples to become participants in the great mission dance of God. They were filled with the Holy Spirit, who bestowed upon them the gift of courage and joy to become witnesses to the gospel through word and action.
On this Pentecost we recall how the first disciples were locked away in the upper room waiting – waiting for the emergence of something new to happen. In this period of gestation, I am sure they pondered and treasured all that they had experienced during their years of accompanying Jesus in his ministry. They were remembering his words, his actions and his inclusive approach to life. In this reflective space they prepared their hearts and minds for the outpouring of the Spirit on that first Pentecost Sunday. This breathing forth of the Holy Spirit took them beyond themselves into the crowds gathering in the streets with new energy and passion for mission. Where are the crowds gathering in our world today and what words of inspiration and action are they asking from us?
The Holy Spirit draws us into the mystery of the living God and impels us to open doors that will enable us to go beyond our own view of the world into those places of human suffering where our brothers and sisters need a hand of hope, a smile of love, the truth of justice and the reassurance that our resources are given to be shared by all. The Spirit opens our mission hearts to go forth to proclaim and bear witness to the good news of the Gospel, to be instruments of peace and reconciliation. Let each one of us have the courage to walk the new paths that the Spirit nudges us to take.
May the fruits of the Spirit…
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
be yours on this Pentecost day.
Monica Cavanagh rsj