Pentecost

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Pentecost is the concluding Sunday of the Easter season. It is also the final movement of that season, the promise of Palm Sunday, the reward of Lent, and also the gift of Christmas. It is the day we receive what Mary accepted on the Annunciation. On that day Mary was told by the angel “Hail Mary, full of Grace the Lord is with you!” Today we receive that same message, this time as the Lord descends upon us, his Church, in the third person of the Trinity. In that upper room those apostles are gathered as the first church when they receive the advocate , yet that is one in the same Lord that Mary delivered to the world in the second person of Jesus the Christ.That Word made Flesh that ascended to the first person of the trinity, the Father. Here though the body of the son of man is transfigured into that body of the Church. From that upper room those disciples will go out to deliver Christ to the World, as Mary brought Christ to Elizabeth, and as Mary delivered Christ to us.It is the voice that says “this is my beloved Son, listen to him.” Pentecost is a celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of Christ’s Church. In that celebration there is then two celebrations; that of the Holy Spirit and that of the Church. With the celebration of the birth of the Church, there too is that celebration of Mary as mother of the Church, and image and model of that Church. “Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus!” Pentecost is the fulfillment of redemption; the Sunday of the red vestments that is the red of passion and the red of martyrs. Redemption is both an act of love and of suffering; yet we are simply told receive the spirit as a gift. That Holy Spirit is a gift, or more accurately described as seven gifts. It is the Gift of wisdom that is so often prayed for and understanding that is pursued. The Paraclete is counsel or wisdom and understanding put into practice and the fortitude to follow through on that counsel. It is the gifts of knowledge and piety and importantly fear of the Lord. To fear the Lord is to know Gods greatness. Pentecost is the tongues of fire descending on the apostles; the receiving of a light that cuts through the darkness. It is illumination or bringing into light for us the glory of God and the peace of God that is so often prayed for.It is 50-days after Easter, 10-days after the Assension ,and yet not simply a memorial commemorating an event of the distant past but a feast that is prayed for today. Veni, Sancte Spiritus. Come Holy Spirit!

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