READINGS: Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104; 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23
In her book Mary for Today (Thomas More Press, 1977), Sr. Patricia Noone, SC reflects on Mary’s presence among the early disciples as they awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit:
“The more that Christ’s divinity became real to the disciples, the more marvelous must have seemed to them the great mystery of the Incarnation – and the more strength and joy must they have found in her [Mary] who stood among them as the living link of God and [humankind]….
Who is to say it was not her eyes that challenged them, her smile that encouraged them, or her words which impelled them to pull back the latch and move out into the sunshine of the Pentecost morning?
Or was it simply her presence which told them they could not stay cooped up in that room hoarding the knowledge of his immense and passionate love of the human race, not letting it break through them, not really believing how much their lives had been penetrated by his, not, after all, knowing that they had been loved.
Without breaking the sense of simple equality and unity in their experience of prayer together, surely in some way she communicated how much the Spirit was to be trusted.”
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An Ecumenical Christian Prayer
O God, Trinity of love,
from the profound communion of your divine life,
pour out upon us a torrent of fraternal love.
Grant us the love reflected in the actions of Jesus,
in his family of Nazareth,
and in the early Christian community.
Grant that we Christians may live the Gospel,
discovering Christ in each human being,
recognizing him crucified
in the sufferings of the abandoned
and forgotten of our world,
and risen in each brother or sister
who makes a new start.
Come, Holy Spirit, show us your beauty,
reflected in all the peoples of the earth,
so that we may discover anew
that all are important and all are necessary,
different faces of the one humanity
that God so loves. Amen. – Pope Francis, “Fratelli Tutti” (2020)
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The long and unfinished development known as evolution testifies to just how much novelty, just how much surprise, the universe is capable of spawning out of pre-given order or chaos. In every instance the living Spirit empowers, lures, prods, dances on ahead. Throughout the process, the Spirit characteristically sets up bonds of kinship among all creatures, human and non-human alike, all of whom are energized by this one Source….Fellowship, community, koinonia is the primordial design of existence, as all creatures are connected through the indwelling, renewing, moving Creator Spirit.
… the Spirit is life that gives life. She is radiant life energy that like wind, fire and water awakens and enlivens all things. Each of these symbols has a numinous quality that evokes better than abstract words the presence of the Creator Spirit in the world, moving over the void, breathing into the chaos, pouring out, informing, quickening, warming, setting free, blessing, dancing in mutual immanence with the world.
In the course of her visionary work on Christian doctrine Hildegard [12th century abbess, writer, composer, mystic] spun out variations on these images that bring home the Spirit’s vivifying movement in a lustrous way. The Spirit, she writes, is the life of the life of all creatures; the way in which everything is penetrated with connectedness and relatedness; a burning fire who sparks, ignites, inflames, kindles hearts; a guide in the fog; a balm for wounds; a shining serenity; an overflowing fountain that spreads to all sides. The Spirit is life, movement, color, radiance, restorative stillness in the din. She pours the juice of contrition into hardened hearts. Her power makes dry twigs and withered souls green again with the juice of life. She purifies, absolves, strengthens, heals, gathers the perplexed, seeks the lost. She plays music in the soul, being herself the melody of praise and joy. She awakens mighty hope, blowing everywhere the winds of renewal in creation.
– Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, Women, Earth, and Creator Spirit (Paulist, 1993), excerpt