Fr Vincent's reflections on Pentecost Sunday

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit filled the lives of the Apostles so they could accomplish God’s plan for the world.  On this day of celebrating Pentecost, God wants to send His Spirit into our lives to continue God’s plan for the world.  How do I prepare myself to receive the Holy Spirit?


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Pentecost 2020


In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.                 R/.  Amen.

The Grace and Peace of our

      Risen Lord Jesus Christ,

      be with you all.                                            R/.  And with your spirit.


On this Feast of the Pentecost, let us pray the Holy Spirit prayer.


Come, Holy Spirit,

fill the hearts of Thy faithful and

enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.

Send forth Thy Spirit

and they shall be created

And Thou shalt renew

the face of the earth.


Let us pray.

O God, Who did instruct

the hearts of the faithful

by the light of the Holy Spirit,

grant us in the same Spirit

to be truly wise,

and ever to rejoice

in His consolation.

Through Christ our Lord.


As before, if you don’t have your Bible with you, please pause this video to retrieve your Bible so you can follow along.


      The First Reading for Mass today is: Acts 2:1-11.


      When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,

             they were all in one place together.

      And suddenly there came from the sky

             a noise like a strong driving wind,

             and it filled the entire house in which they were.

      Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,

             which parted and came to rest on each one of them.

      And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit

             and began to speak in different tongues,

             as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

      Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven

             staying in Jerusalem.

      At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,

             but they were confused

             because each one heard them speaking in his own language.

      They were astounded, and in amazement they asked,

             “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?

      Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?

      We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,

             inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,

             Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,

             Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,

             as well as travelers from Rome,

             both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,

             yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues

             of the mighty acts of God.”


      The word of the Lord.                                 R/.  Thanks be to God.


The Holy Spirit seems to be the most difficult person of the Trinity for us to understand.  Probably because we have human equivalents of “Father” and “Son.” Plus, the Son became human in the person of Jesus – true flesh and blood.  Images of the Holy Spirit – wind, fire, dove – can make it hard to feel a connection.  Even when we say the Spirit is “love,” that is an equally elusive image because love can mean a variety of things, and most human beings have less than ideal experiences we call “love,” so that doesn’t help many.

Without getting too analytical and realizing this might not be how some imagine the Holy Spirit, I will use the image of God’s Personal Love, who creates and recreates every soul He touches.  For me, the Spirit is love acting for the good of the person being loved.  That love is so personal and intimate that He is a person like Jesus the Son and like God the Father.  As the Father gives us life and Jesus saves our soul from sin and death, the Spirit touches our incompleteness / weakness / imperfection to make us more the person God wants us to be.

To celebrate Pentecost is to open my soul / your soul to be touched lovingly, recreatively by the Person of the Spirit to fill us with whatever is lacking in our lives.  And because the Spirit is God’s acting love, nothing good for us is beyond His touch.  Yet, this idea is so broad and ill-defined that many people move through Pentecost never experiencing the Spirit.  I always say: get as particular and practical as possible in asking for the Spirit and seeking His blessing.

So this Pentecost, what about your life needs the touch of the Spirit?  It could be a conversation with a family member or friend you don’t know how to start.  It could be a decision you need to make about your future, but your worries stop you from acting.  It could be a change of life / lifestyle, and you are not sure the best path.  It could truly be anything.  But with what part of your life do you need true divine help?  Again, be specific as possible and simply ask the Spirit to touch you and create / recreate your soul (body, mind, spirit) for the good God wants for you.

Now, the Spirit won’t do all the work for us.  But He will give us the tools to do what needs to be done.  That conversation – He’ll give us the words, but we must speak.  That decision – He’ll show us the truth, but we must act on it.  That change – He’ll inspire, but we have to follow through.  This is not a “sit back and let God serve;” this is me doing the right thing because God has given everything I need to accomplish the good.

May the Holy Spirit fill you this Pentecost!  Amen.


And now, I would like to offer you the Pentecost Blessing:

             May God, the Father of lights

             who was pleased to enlighten the disciples’ minds

             by the outpouring of the Spirit, the Paraclete,

             grant you gladness by his blessing

             and make you always abound with the gifts of the same Spirit.       R/.  Amen.


             May the wondrous flame that appeared above the disciples,

             powerfully cleanse your hearts from every evil

             and pervade them with its purifying light.                                         R/.  Amen.


             And may God, who has been pleased to unite many tongues

             in the profession of one faith,

             give you perseverance in that same faith

             and, by believing, may you journey from hope to clear vision.         R/.  Amen.


             And may the blessing of almighty God,

             the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

             come down on you and remain with you for ever.                            R/.  Amen.


Live in the peace of Christ, Alleluia, Alleluia!

R/.  Thanks be to God, Alleluia, Alleluia!