Memory of Jesus crucified

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Memory of the saints Addai and Mari, founders of the Chaldean church.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 2,1-13

When Pentecost day came round, they had all met together,

when suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of a violent wind which filled the entire house in which they were sitting;

and there appeared to them tongues as of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them.

They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak different languages as the Spirit gave them power to express themselves.

Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven,

and at this sound they all assembled, and each one was bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language.

They were amazed and astonished. 'Surely,' they said, 'all these men speaking are Galileans?

How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language?

Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,

Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; residents of Rome-

Jews and proselytes alike -- Cretans and Arabs, we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.'

Everyone was amazed and perplexed; they asked one another what it all meant.

Some, however, laughed it off. 'They have been drinking too much new wine,' they said.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Fifty days had passed since Easter and the apostles, as usual, gathered together in the upper room to pray. All at once a violent wind shook the walls of the house and there appeared tongues as of fire that rested on each of the apostles. It was an incredible experience, which transformed them completely: from being fearful into being filled with courage. They opened the door that had been closed for fifty days and that had not even opened to Jesus on the day of his resurrection. And they immediately started to proclaim the mystery of salvation that was fulfilled with the death and resurrection of Jesus, the just man who had been crucified a few weeks before, but whom they had met as risen. The descent of the Holy Spirit deeply changed the apostles. Those tongues of fire meant a new burning truth, a truth that changed and urged them to take the first steps out into the ways of the world. Pentecost marks the beginning of the Church. And it started with the Holy Spirit that changed the hearts, the minds, and the tongues of that small and frightened group of disciples. We can compare Pentecost to Jesus’ Baptism when "the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove" (Lk 3:22). As Jesus started his public life "full of the Holy Spirit" (Lk 4:1), in the same way the disciples opened the doors and started to communicate the Gospel to the world. This is why we still need a Pentecost. The Christian communities ought to be filled with that violent wind that changed the frightened disciples so that they proclaimed the Gospel to the generation of this beginning millennium throughout the world and with great audacity. Without Pentecost, the world will continue to be grey and sad. Mostly, the world will have a hard time shaking off that dictatorship of materialism that drives the lives of people into the ground, leaving no hope for justice and peace in their future. Pentecost opens to the disciples a new horizon that is large and universal and which does not know any limits, whether social, geographical, cultural or racial. Before the door of the upper room are gathered symbolically all the peoples of the world that were known at that time. Everyone is there, no one is excluded, not even those "foreigners" from Rome, the capital of the Empire. It is not just by chance that the author puts Rome at the beginning of Peter’s preaching. The community of the disciples had not even started to take its first steps and yet it has already welcomed the heart of the large Empire into its horizon of love. All those people gathering before Peter were able to hear the one and the same Gospel, even though each was able to understand it in their own language. This is the miracle of love that succeeds in unity while respecting diversity. The confusion of languages, which divided humanity at Babel, is now conquered in the common language of the Holy Spirit, the language of love.