Pentecost Sunday - 28 May
28th May 2023
Pentecost Sunday - 28 May
“O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.” - St Augustine of Hippo
Happy Birthday to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church! 🎂🙏⛪️
A reflection on Pentecost by the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J Sheen:
"Ten days after the Ascension, the Apostles were gathered together awaiting the Spirit Who would teach them and reveal to them all that Our Blessed Lord had taught them. During His public life, He told them that He would take on a new Body. It would not be physical like the one He took from Mary. That Body is now glorified at the right hand of the Father. Nor would it be a moral body like a social club which derives its unity from the will of men. Rather, it would be His new social Body that would be bound to Him by His Heavenly Spirit which He would send on leaving this earth. He spoke of His new Body sometimes as a Kingdom, though St. Paul would speak of it as a Body which the Gentiles could understand more readily.
"The nucleus of this new Mystical Body was His Apostles. They were to be the raw material into which He would send His Spirit to quicken them into His prolonged Self. They would represent Him when He was gone. The privilege of evangelising the world was reserved to them. This new Body, of which they were the embryo, was to be His post-humous Self, and His prolonged Personality through the centuries.
"Until Our Lord sent His Spirit on them fifty days after His Resurrection, the Apostles were like the elements in a chemical laboratory. Science knows up to 100 percent the chemicals which enter into the constitution of a human body; but it cannot make a human being because of its inability to provide the unifying principle, the soul. The Apostles could not give the Church Divine life any more than chemicals could make human life. They needed God’s invisible Divine Spirit to unify their visible human natures.
"Accordingly, ten days after the Ascension, the glorified Saviour in Heaven sent upon them His Spirit, not in the form of a book but as tongues of living fire. As cells in a body form a new human life when God breathes a soul into the embryo, so the Apostles appeared as the visible Body of Christ when the Holy Spirit came to make them one. This Mystical Body or the Church is called in tradition and Scripture the ‘whole Christ’ or ‘the fullness of Christ.’
"The new Body of Christ then appeared publicly before men. Just as the Son of God took upon Himself a human nature from the womb of Mary, overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, so on Pentecost He took a Mystical Body from the womb of humanity, overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. Just as He once taught, governed, and sanctified through His human nature, so now He would continue to teach, to govern, and to sanctify through other human natures united in His Body or Church.
"Because this Body is not physical like a man, nor moral like a bridge club, but heavenly and spiritual because of the Spirit which made it one, it is called a Mystical Body. As a human body is made up of millions and millions of cells, and yet is one because vivified by one soul, presided over by one visible head, and governed by an invisible mind, so this Body of Christ, though made up of millions and millions of persons who are incorporated into Christ by baptism, is one because vivified by the Holy Spirit of God and presided over by one visible head and governed by one invisible Mind or Head Who is the Risen Christ.
"The Mystical Body is Christ’s prolonged Self. St. Paul came to understand this truth. Perhaps no one has ever lived who hated Christ more than Saul. The early members of Christ’s Mystical Body prayed that God would send someone to refute Saul. God heard their prayer; He sent Paul to answer Saul. When the Body of Christ was persecuted, it was Christ the Invisible Head Who arose to speak and to protest. The Mystical Body of Christ, therefore, no more stands between Christ and an individual than His physical Body stood between Magdalen and His forgiveness, or His hand stood between the little children and His blessing. It was through His human Body that He came to men in His individual life; it is through His Mystical Body or His Church that He comes to men in His mystical corporate life.
"Christ is living now! He is teaching now, governing now, sanctifying now—as He did in Judea and Galilee. His Mystical Body or the Church existed throughout the Roman Empire before a single one of the Gospels had been written. It was the New Testament that came out of the Church, not the Church which came out of the New Testament. This Body had the four distinctive marks of life; it had unity, because vivified by one Soul, one Spirit, the gift of Pentecost. As unity in doctrine and authority is the centripetal force which keeps the life of the Church one, catholicity is the centrifugal force which enables her to expand and absorb redeemed humanity without distinction of race or colour. The third note of the Church is holiness, which means that it endures on condition that it keep itself healthy, pure, and free from the disease of heresy and schism. This holiness is not in each member but rather in the whole Church. And because the Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church, it can be the Divine instrument for the sanctification of souls. The sunlight is not polluted because its rays pass through a dirty window; neither do the sacraments lose their power to sanctify because the human instruments of those sacraments may be stained. Finally, there is the work of apostolicity. In biology, Omne vivum ex vivo or ‘All life comes from life.’ So too the Mystical Body of Christ is apostolic, because historically it took its roots in Christ and not from a man separated by centuries from Him. That is why the infant Church met to choose a successor of Judas who had to be a witness of the Resurrection and a companion of the Apostles.
"Thus the Christ Who 'emptied' Himself in the Incarnation now had His 'fullness' on Pentecost."
(Life of Christ)
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created, and Thou shall renew the face of the earth. O God, Who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that in the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise, and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 💖💐🙏
Food for thought
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God?” (1 Cor 6:15)
Because our body is a temple, we should try to keep God dwelling therein. This is the basic reason for purity. If you are in the state of grace, God dwells in your heart. Hence, do not think of God being “way up there”; think of Him being on the inside.