Sunday of Pentecost
Memorial of the Saints Addai and Mari, founders of the Chaldean church. Prayer for Christians in Iraq. Read more
Sunday of Pentecost
Memorial of the Saints Addai and Mari, founders of the Chaldean church. Prayer for Christians in Iraq.
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.'
How great you are O Lord, our God.
Bless the Lord, my soul!
Lord god, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and glory,
wrapped in light as in a robe!
You stretch out the heavens like a tent.
Above the rains you build your dwelling.
You make the cloud your chariot,
you walk on the wings of the wind,
you make the winds your messengers
and flashing fire your servants.
You founded the earth on its base,
to stand firm from age to age.
You wrapped it with the ocean like a cloak:
the waters stood higher than the mountains.
At your threat they took to flight;
at the voice of your thunder they fled.
They rose over the mountains and flowed down
to the place which you had appointed.
You set limits they might not pass
lest they return to cover the earth.
You make springs gush forth in the valleys:
they flow in between the hills.
They give drink to all the beasts of the field;
the wild-asses quench their thirst.
On their banks dwell the birds of heaven;
from the branches they sing their songs.
From your dwelling you water the hills;
earth drinks its fill of your gift.
You make the grass grow for the cattle
and the plants to serve man's needs,
that he may bring forth bread from the earth
and wine to cheer man's heart;
oil, to make his face shine
and bread to strengthen man's heart.
The trees of the Lord drink their fill,
the cedars he planted on Lebanon;
there the birds build their nests:
on the tree-top the stork has her home.
The goats find a home on the mountains
and rabbits hide in the rocks.
You made the moon to mark the months;
the sun knows the time for its setting.
When you spread the darkness it is night
and all the beasts of the forest creep forth.
The young lions roar for their prey
and ask their food from God.
At the rising of the sun they steal away
and go to rest in their dens.
Man goes forth to his work,
to labour till evening falls.
How many are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your riches.
There is the sea, vast and wide,
with its moving swarms past counting,
living things great and small.
The ships are moving there
and the monsters you made to play with.
All of these look to you
to give them their food in due season.
You give it, they gather it up;
you open your hand, they have their fill.
You hide your face, they are dismayed;
you take back your spirit, they die,
returning to the dust from which they came.
You send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord last for ever!
May the Lord rejoice in his works!
He looks on the earth and it trembles;
the mountains send forth smoke at his touch.
I will sing to the Lord all my life,
make music to my God while I live
May my thoughts be pleasing to him.
I find my joy in the Lord.
Let sinners vanish from the earth
and the wicked exist no more.
Bless the Lord, my soul.
1 Corinthians 12,3-7.12-13
Because of that, I want to make it quite clear to you that no one who says 'A curse on Jesus' can be speaking in the Spirit of God, and nobody is able to say, 'Jesus is Lord' except in the Holy Spirit. There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit; there are many different ways of serving, but it is always the same Lord. There are many different forms of activity, but in everybody it is the same God who is at work in them all. The particular manifestation of the Spirit granted to each one is to be used for the general good. For as with the human body which is a unity although it has many parts -- all the parts of the body, though many, still making up one single body -- so it is with Christ. We were baptised into one body in a single Spirit, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as free men, and we were all given the same Spirit to drink.
Reading of the Gospel
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
If we are not reborn through water and the Spirit,
we cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, 'Peace be with you,' and, after saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord, and he said to them again, 'Peace be with you. 'As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.' After saying this he breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone's sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone's sins, they are retained.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
he sent me to bring good news to the poor.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
"When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place" (Acts 2:1). Fifty days had passed since Easter, and one hundred and twenty of Jesus' followers (the Twelve with the group of the disciples, Mary, and the other women) were gathered in the upper room. Not only in Jerusalem, but in many other cities in the world, Christians continue to gather "together in one place" to listen to the Word of God, to be nourished by the bread of life, and to continue to live together in memory of the Lord.
The book of Acts narrates that, that afternoon, "suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind" against the house where the disciples were gathered. It was a sort of earthquake that was felt in the entire Jerusalem so much so that many gathered in front of their door to see what was happening. It was an experience that profoundly changed them all: the apostles, the disciples, and the women.
But that interior earthquake that changed the disciples' hearts also had effects outside. The locked door was opened and the disciples started to speak to the crowd that had begun to gather. The long and detailed list of peoples represents the presence of the entire world. And while Jesus' disciples speak, all the people understand them in their own language: "in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power," they say in amazement. From that day, the Spirit of the Lord began to cross boundaries that seemed impassable. Pentecost put an end to Babel. In the Letter to the Galatians, the apostle Paul writes exhorts believers to walk according to the Spirit so that they are not led to satisfy the desires of the flesh, "Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these" (Gal 5:19-21). And he adds: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (Gal 5:22). The entire world needs fruit like this. Pentecost is the beginning of the Church. The Holy Spirit is also being poured out over us, so that we can break out of the things that close us in and give witness to the Lord's love and proclaim his Gospel to all creatures to the ends of the earth.
Prayer is the heart of the life of the Community of Sant'Egidio and is its absolute priority. At the end of the day, every the Community of Sant'Egidio, large or small, gathers around the Lord to listen to his Word. The Word of God and the prayer are, in fact, the very basis of the whole life of the Community. The disciples cannot do other than remain at the feet of Jesus, as did Mary of Bethany, to receive his love and learn his ways (Phil. 2:5).
So every evening, when the Community returns to the feet of the Lord, it repeats the words of the anonymous disciple: " Lord, teach us how to pray". Jesus, Master of prayer, continues to answer: "When you pray, say: Abba, Father". It is not a simple exhortation, it is much more. With these words Jesus lets the disciples participate in his own relationship with the Father. Therefore in prayer, the fact of being children of the Father who is in heaven, comes before the words we may say. So praying is above all a way of being! That is to say we are children who turn with faith to the Father, certain that they will be heard.
Jesus teaches us to call God "Our Father". And not simply "Father" or "My Father". Disciples, even when they pray on their own, are never isolated nor they are orphans; they are always members of the Lord's family.
In praying together, beside the mystery of being children of God, there is also the mystery of brotherhood, as the Father of the Church said: "You cannot have God as father without having the church as mother". When praying together, the Holy Spirit assembles the disciples in the upper room together with Mary, the Lord's mother, so that they may direct their gaze towards the Lord's face and learn from Him the secret of his Heart.
The Communities of Sant'Egidio all over the world gather in the various places of prayer and lay before the Lord the hopes and the sufferings of the tired, exhausted crowds of which the Gospel speaks ( Mat. 9: 3-7 ), In these ancient crowds we can see the huge masses of the modern cities, the millions of refugees who continue to flee their countries, the poor, relegated to the very fringe of life and all those who are waiting for someone to take care of them. Praying together includes the cry, the invocation, the aspiration, the desire for peace, the healing and salvation of the men and women of this world. Prayer is never in vain; it rises ceaselessly to the Lord so that anguish is turned into hope, tears into joy, despair into happiness, and solitude into communion. May the Kingdom of God come soon among people!