Memory of the Church

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Memorial of Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr (†258). He pointed to the poor as the true treasure of the Church. Memorial of those who serve them in the name of the Gospel.


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.
.

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

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Fifty days have passed since Easter, and the apostles, as was their custom, were gathered together in the upper room to pray. All of the sudden a strong wind shook the walls of the house and there appeared tongues as if of fire that came to rest on each of the apostles. It was an incredible experience that transformed them completely: they, who at first were afraid, felt themselves filled with new courage. They opened the doors of the upper room, which were closed as usual, and in the doorway began to proclaim what they had seen and heard concerning Jesus. This is the miracle of Pentecost: fearful men and women are filled with the Spirit and begin to communicate the gospel of Jesus. The Holy Spirit had changed the hearts, minds, and mouths of that little, frightened group of disciples. This is how the history of the Church began: with this little group, transformed by the Spirit. But Pentecost is not just an event confined to the past. In truth, every Christian generation is called to live out Pentecost, to let itself be guided by the Spirit to communicate the Gospel of love. Even today, our generation needs Pentecost and a new mission. The Christian communities need to let themselves be caught up in that sudden wind that changed those frightened disciples so they could more boldly proclaim the Gospel everywhere. Without a new Pentecost the world will continue to be grey and sad. If during the three years of their life with Jesus, the disciples more or less remained within the borders of Israel, after Pentecost a new horizon with no limits opened before them. Before the doors of the upper room are symbolically gathered all the peoples of the earth known at that time. They are all there, even “foreigners” from Rome, the capital of the empire. The community of disciples begins to take its first steps into the world. From the very beginning, the Gospel’s horizon is the entire world, all the peoples that inhabit the world. And each one of them – Acts notes – heard the Gospel communicated in his or her native language. It is the same Gospel, but it knows how to speak the languages of all in order to enter their minds and touch their hearts in understandable way. It is a miracle of love that is able to make different individuals into one people. The confusion of languages that divided humanity at Babel is now overcome by the shared language of the Holy Spirit, the language of love.