Solemnity of Pentecost (b)
Sunday 24th May: Solemnity of Pentecost. (B)
Today is Pentecost Sunday, a day which is both and end and a beginning. It is the official end of the Easter Season. The Easter Candle is removed from its prominent place in the sanctuary to be beside the Baptismal Font. It is now only lit during the celebrations of Funerals and Baptisms.
Today also marks the great beginning of the Church, the day the Holy Spirit first came to the confused and frightened disciples to inspire them to go out and preach the Good News.
In the first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, Pentecost is described. St. Luke describes the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles and the effect it had on them.
In the second reading, from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, we are reminded that the Holy Spirit gives different gifts to different people for the good of the Church, the Body of Christ.
In the Gospel, from St. John, we hear how the risen Christ gives the gift of the Holy Spirit to his disciples and inaugurates the mission of the Church.
Ordinary Cycle of the Year (b)
Weekdays – Year 1.
Monday 25th May: Monday in 8th week of the year.
Today we revert to the Ordinary Cycle for weekdays of year 1.
Through wisdom, we learn that God hates sin and unjust living. Therefore, we must turn from these and repent for God encourages those who do so.
Jesus shows that the commandments are only the basic rules of good living. He presents great ideals for us to follow as well.
Tuesday 26th May: Memorial of St. Philip Neri.
Philip Neri was born in Florence in 1515. In his late teens he moved to Rome where he spent to years praying about his life and the way forward. His only practical work during this time was teaching his host’s two sons. He began working with the people whose faith was at a low ebb and was ordained in 1551. He became known as a great confessor. He was helped by a group of other priests and this was the start of the Oratorians. He worked hard until his death in 1595
Wednesday 27th May: Wednesday of the 8th week of the year.
Today we read about an intense prayer to God for mercy, for success in dealing with enemies and for compassion. It is a prayer looking forward to the time when the country will again be filled with songs of praise for God.
Jesus reminds us that suffering is very much part of the lot of Christians just as it was the lot of Jesus himself. Linked with this is the need for service, given with generosity. Jesus came to serve, not to be served. We should be the same.
Thursday 28th May: Thursday of the 8th week of the year.
This is another prayer of praise reminding us of how we can see the many varied works of the Lord. It is in fact impossible to describe them all but God knows them all and can even see into the depths of our hearts.
We are given another example of the great power of faith. As a result of his faith, the blind man has his sight restored.
Friday 29th May: Friday of the 8th week of the year.
The piety of Israel’s ancestors is now praised. Those who were the heroes, those who followed the law are remembered along with their good works.
Two lessons are given in today’s Gospel. Respect the house of God. Have faith in God and your prayer will be heard. In your prayer, always ask for forgiveness just as you forgive others.
Saturday 30th May: Saturday of the 8th week of the year.
The last section of the Book of Ecclesiasticus contains a poem in praise of wisdom. In the original Hebrew, each verse begins with a different letter of the alphabet. It tells of the search for wisdom and what wisdom has done for the author. He has been able to keep the law scrupulously.
Again, the chief priests and scribes try to trap Jesus but he is too shrewd to be caught out. He tells them to open their eyes and ears to what he is saying and doing and they will know the answer to the question they are asking about John’s baptism.