Reflection: 20th May 2018

A Reflection for Pentecost Sunday

JN 20: 19-23 ( )

The Gospel of John tells us that the Apostles were gathered in an upper room.

It was evening.  Night and darkness were imminent.  The doors were closed and the whole atmosphere was one of fear.  Their enemies were circling.  The outlook was bleak.

And then the unexpected happened.  Jesus stood among them.  He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

And they were transformed.  Unexpected and wonderful things happened.

As we gather this Pentecost, are we fearful?  Do we feel it is evening and the best of the day is over?

Do we feel somehow that society is against us and we are under siege?  Do we feel like closing the door on a troubled world and holding on to the past?  Are we lifeless?

Or do we welcome The Risen One to breathe on us and transform us.

I presume the Holy Spirit is as present today as at the first Pentecost.  I trust that the unexpected can happen anytime.  Like the apostles we too can receive the “gift of speech” to be able to communicate with the people of our time.  Did not Pope Francis catch everyone by surprise and begin to throw open the many closed doors?  Is not his vision of an open and inclusive church a sign that the Spirit is still active in a troubled and chaotic world?  Every day people show extraordinary acts of kindness and love to their neighbour.  Maybe this Pentecost we could ask for the grace to see things differently.

As Thomas Merton reminds us:

“What is serious to people is often very trivial in the sight of God.  What in God might appear to us as “play” is perhaps what He Himself takes most seriously.  At any rate the Lord plays and diverts Himself in the garden of His creation, and if we could let go of our obsession with what we think is the meaning of it all, we might be able to hear His call and follow Him in His mysterious cosmic dance.”            (New Seeds of Contemplation)

Daithi Kenneally C.S.Sp. – Fr. Daithi worked for many years in Sierra Leone. Returning to Ireland, he served as P.P. in Kimmage Manor and in Deansrath, and as a member of the Provincial Leadership Team. He is currently Team Leader in Kimmage Manor.