Hi all —
It is great to be part of this emerging online conversation about our experiences and wisdom as young adult Catholics who are also part of the CTA community! I thank the blog team for allowing me to be a part of the dialogue as a regular contributor. I have asked to focus my (hopefully) weekly reflections on the Scripture readings that are part of the upcoming Sunday’s Eucharist so as to invite response and reflection on how the Word of God might touch our lives and be living words to transform our church and world.
Given that the blog is starting on the great celebration of Pentecost, I submitted this reflection as a sample to the blog team, and they have asked me to post it, in the hope it might inform your reflections even in this post-Pentecost week! So here it is. In the future, I’ll also try to provide the verse references for the readings or an online link.
In honor of the Spirit who blows where she will, here are some unorganized but integrated images and thoughts from the Scriptures for Pentecost:
“When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled …” – a striking image from the first reading from Acts of completing a time of preparation for something new to burst on the scene. The disciples of Jesus, with Mary, were praying in the upper room and something new and powerful burst forth from that time of intense prayer. Note, too, that “they were all in one place together.” The Spirit is not the possession of any individual, no matter how “charism”-atic. It is God’s gift to the whole church which comes together in God’s name. We are invited to claim each others gifts to the church, as St. Paul also reminds us in the second reading from 1 Corinthians.
St. Paul also points out the one body, many members reality of the church united to Christ. Consider how there are two ways to look at that which complement each other: (1) We are made one in Christ even though we have many gifts, talents, diverse personalities, challenges, joys. (2) Every single person in the church is needed in their uniqueness for the body to be complete. How can we as a church based on community balance these two?
The Gospel account from John shows a link between the suffering for a new world that Jesus endured and the Spirit that comes in the form of his peace and the power to bring God’s forgiveness and mercy to others. Where might we be invited by God to see the link between redemptive suffering, peace, forgiveness, and the powerful might of the Spirit’s flame in our lives and world this week?
Finally, a brief word on the Sequence – a beautiful and poorly used prayer in today’s liturgy, one often passed over as a relic. Yet such beautiful and powerfully transforming words: “In our labor, Rest most sweet, grateful Coolness in the heat, Solace in the midst of woe! … Bend the stubborn heart and will, melt the frozen, warm the chill, guide the steps that go astray.” I encourage you to find a copy of the prayer in the misallette or online this week and pray it. Find the image that most speaks to your heart and hear in it the Spirit’s invitation to you and to the church and world to be renewed.