Thank goodness there was no coronavirus pandemic on that first day of Pentecost some 2000 years ago. The disciples would have only been able to meet in groups of six, and they certainly wouldn’t have been able to gather in the upper room! This weekend we celebrate “the birthday of the church” and it has been customary at St Mary’s for several years that we all wear something RED to re-create that symbol of tongues of fire appearing on the heads of the disciples as the Holy Spirit was sent to them.
From the Acts of the Apostles we read:
When Pentecost day came round, the apostles had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues 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 foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.
We won’t be able to gather in church in a “Mass” of red clothing, but we can still wear our red garments at home and join together by watching the Mass from St Mary’s at 10.30am on Pentecost Sunday.
Father Edward writes:
We call upon the Holy Spirit to come and renew us, refresh us, and transform us – even in “lockdown”!! The Spirit hovered over the Earth at Creation, hovered over Our Blessed Lady as she said her “Fiat”, her “Yes” to God. After the Ascension Jesus promises the gift of the Spirit, and so the Spirit descends on the disciples, the Apostolic College, on Our Blessed Lady and others gathered in that room. Immediately the work of the Church begins and people began to hear the Good News of Jesus. And led by that Spirit, that work has continued to our day – and will go on until the Lord returns.
These are very strange times and it is easy to feel “alone” – even if we have family around us and are in touch with family and friends on the telephone, social media or online video messaging. Amongst all the loneliness and the “doom and gloom” there is the reassurance and comfort of the Holy Spirit who was sent by God to be with us. Let us rejoice at this time of Pentecost and pray for an end to the pandemic; that we may soon be able to come together in fellowship, just as the disciples did all those many years ago.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people and kindle in them the fire of your love. Amen.