Pentecost (C)
June 05, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.







O God, who by the mystery of today’s great feast
sanctify your whole Church in every people and nation,
pour out, we pray, the gifts of the Holy Spirit
across the face of the earth
and, with the divine grace that was at work
when the Gospel was first proclaimed,
fill now once more the hearts of believers.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading Acts 2:1-11 

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven
staying in Jerusalem.
At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,
but they were confused
because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded, and in amazement they asked,
"Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?
Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?
We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,
inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,
as well as travelers from Rome,
both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,
yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty acts of God."

Responsorial Psalm 104:1,24,29-30,31,34


R/. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
How manifold are your works, O LORD!
the earth is full of your creatures;

May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD be glad in his works!
Pleasing to him be my theme;
I will be glad in the LORD.

If you take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.

Second Reading 1 Cor 12:3b-7,12-13

Brothers and sisters:
No one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.

As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

Sequence Veni, Sancte Spiritus


Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home

Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
 Come, within our bosoms shine.

You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul's most welcome guest;
 Sweet refreshment here below;
In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
 Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
 And our inmost being fill!
Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
 Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
 Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
 Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
 In your sevenfold gift descend;
Give them virtue's sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
 Give them joys that never end. Amen.


Gospel Jn 20:19-23

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, "Peace be with you."
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you."

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
"Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained."

Reflection Questions

How and what has the Spirit “enabled you to proclaim?”

How has the manifestation of the Spirit given to you individually been of benefit to others?

Are there locked doors in your life?

Catena Nova

Every Catholic knows that today’s solemnity ranks as one of the principal feasts of the Church. The reverence due to it is beyond all question, because this day is consecrated by the most sublime and wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit. Ten days after the Lord ascended high above the heavens to sit at the right hand of God the Father, and fifty days after his resurrection, on the very same day of the week as this joyful season began, the day of Pentecost has dawned upon us. In itself the feast of Pentecost contains great mysteries relating to the old dispensation as well as to the new, signs which clearly show that grace was heralded by the law and the law fulfilled by grace. O how swift is the word of wisdom, and where God is master how quickly the lesson is learnt! Fifty days after the sacrifice of the lamb marking the deliverance of the Hebrews from the Egyptians, the law was given on Mount Sinai; and fifty days from the raising up of Christ after his passion and immolation as the true lamb of God, the Holy Spirit came down upon the apostles and assembled believers....And so, ever since that day, the clarion call of the gospel has rung out; since the day of Pentecost a rain of charisms, a river of blessings, has watered every desert and dry land, for the Spirit of God has swept over the waters to renew the face of the earth, and a blaze of new light has shone out to dispel our former darkness. In the light of those flaming tongues the word of the Lord has shone out clearly, and a fiery eloquence has been enkindled which is charged with the energy to enlighten, the ability to create understanding, and the power to bum away sin and destroy it. (Pope St. Leo the Great)

I am the fiery life of the Divine essence:
I flame above the beauty of the fields;
I shine in the waters;
I burn in the sun, the moon, and the stars.
And, with the airy wind, I quicken all things vitally
by an unseen, all-sustaining life.  (St. Hildegard of Bingen)

Love flows from God into man,
Like a bird
Who rivers the air
Without moving her wings.
Thus we move in His world,
One in body and soul,
Though outwardly separate in form.
As the Source strikes the note,
Humanity sings--
The Holy Spirit is our harpist,
And all strings
Which are touched in Love
Must sound.(St. Mechtild of Magdeburg)

   The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair
    Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre-
    To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Who then devised the torment?  Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
    We only live, only suspire
    Consumed by either fire or fire. (T.S. Eliot)

O Holy Spirit, we should be thankful to you so many times, and yet we thank you so rarely. Though we are consoled to know that you are one with Jesus and the Father, this does not justify us. We want to be near you….Greatest consoler, sweet guest of our soul, you refresh our lives. You are Light, Joy, Beauty. You attract us, inflame our hearts, and inspire our thoughts. You help us to live lives committed to holiness. You accomplish in us what many sermons would not have taught. You sanctify us. Holy Spirit, you are so gentle and at the same time strong and overwhelming. You blow like a light breeze which few know how to listen to. Look at our lack of finesse and make us receptive to your grace. May no day pass in which we don’t invoke you and thank you, adore you and love you, listen to your voice. This grace we ask from you. And wrap us in the great light of your love, especially in our darkest hour, when the vision of this life will come to a close and dissolve itself into the next. (Chiara Lubich)

There are multiple names for God the Holy Spirit. I think the most beautiful is “comforter” and then comes “source of life”. When we pray for the coming of the Spirit, we open ourselves to God’s expectations of us and we let the energy that is the Spirit flow into us so we can fulfill them. Even if you can as yet only groan for salvation and then be silent, already the Spirit is groaning with and interceding for you. One of the first signs of new life is this praying and groaning for the Spirit to open up our lives of imprisonment in a devastated world to which the Spirit can and will bring a new kind of living. The response to this prayer is the Spirit’s coming and abiding. The Spirit is poured out and dwells in us. If you pray for the Spirit to come into your heart, into your community, and upon our earth you aren’t seeking to flee into heaven or
to be removed to whatever is beyond.... This sort of praying is a magnificent affirmation of life. Human beings are fragile, and so is all earthly being, and the Divine Spirit comes to lift all up and make new all that is good, starting with each of us. Then our coming to one another can be a coming of the Holy Spirit. (Jurgen Moltmann)

The Spirit is like wind, fire, water. The Spirit is none of the above in reality, yet all of these metaphors set up an impression.  Each one points to the nearness of God to each one of us and the whole creation.  They symbolize in a poetic way that God is intimately involved with the world, so intimate that, as Augustine wrote, God is nearer to us than we are to ourselves....The Spirit is simply God’s self-communication in grace, present and active everywhere, pervading the world.  This basic but profound reality bears repeating today, because so many do not experience God’s nearness but think of God as distant or even unreal.  This is most unfortunate.  Through the Spirit, the risen Christ is universally present in the world everywhere and in every moment, as pervasive as the air we breathe, as the sun or the rain that comes down on us, as the wind that blows around us, as the life that flows with our every breath. (Elizabeth Johnson)


Breathing Fire

            When were you confirmed?  There will no doubt be as many answers to that question as there are people who respond. “When I was baptized.”  “When I made my First Communion.”  “When I was in eighth grade.” (My answer).  “When I was in high school.”  “Never.” Ah, the never-ending debate about when to confirm.  Options ranging from immediately following baptism, as was always the case in the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, to late adolescence as a “rite of passage” into Christian “adulthood,” can co-exist even in the same diocese, though bishops tend to legislate one way or the other.  Whatever you might think, whether confirmation is primarily a sacrament of Christian initiation or primarily a sacrament of Christian maturity -- or somewhere in-between -- confirmation is a sacrament with a long-suffering identity crisis.  And I dare say a sacrament that doesn’t quite live up to its supposed role of making someone a “full member of the church” or a “witness to Christ in the world with gifts conferred for service.”  Most often, it seems, confirmation is “graduation from church,” if anything.

            One reason, I think, the sacraments – and not just confirmation – fail to make the desired impact is the difficulty we have of believing such ordinary items as oil can convey the extraordinary manifestation of the Spirit (II), a grace so powerful it cannot be repeated for it  seals a person with an indelible stamp of divine approval. 

            These difficulties are in some ways worsened, I believe, by modern life.  Just think how many extraordinary things have in a short time become commonplace.  Who still marvels, for example, at a microwave oven, an I-phone, or the Internet?  Devices and achievements once unthinkable are now part and parcel of daily life.  It takes more and more for something to get our attention, we’ve become so accustomed to the spectacular.  Even nature has lost much of its power to entrance us, except perhaps when a new telescope begins to beam pictures whose light emanates from the very beginning of the universe.  But even that novelty will soon wear off, won’t it?

            Still, Pentecost challenges us on this score.  Oh sure, according to Luke, God first sent the Spirit on the disciples in an extraordinary way: Suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them (I).  In this stunning way God’s presence manifested itself.  

            Something like that first meal you cooked in your microwave in less than fifteen minutes; or the first time you found your way someplace using a GPS; or the first time you received a piece of e-mail.  Oh yes, the Spirit’s coming in wind and fire was something extraordinary. Though I doubt if you brought a fire extinguisher or wore a windbreaker to church this morning! Why? Well, the novelty of that first Pentecost has worn off, now hasn’t it?

            Which is why, I believe, John tells us something different about the Spirit.  He records a more subdued outpouring of the Spirit.  John says that Jesus, on the night he rose from the dead, appeared to the disciples and, through a simple gesture, bestowed the Spirit: He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (G).  No fire this time, no driving wind, just the breath of life, indeed, new life.

            You might wonder about this difference in the way John and Luke see things.  Whereas Luke, if you continue to read the Acts of the Apostles, sees how the wonders Jesus performed continue in the church where miracles also happen, John sees how God is also at work through more ordinary, interior, means.  It’s something like the difference between the day my vision was corrected by a laser and I ditched the eyeglasses I had worn since fourth grade.  That moment following LASIK surgery seemed like a miracle: like wind and fire. But many years later when the gift of corrected vision has become familiar, it’s far less striking: more like breathing.  It’s still a wonder I can see, but after so many years of  20/20 vision the wonder has passed – except when I go searching for the nearest pair of reading glasses!

            So yes, truly extraordinary things can appear rather mundane once we’ve grown accustomed to them.  That’s true of  the sacraments as well, where God takes such ordinary things as water, bread, wine, oil, and yes, even your spouse and your priest, and makes them signs of divine presence and channels of  grace.

            Which is why, in a time when people are clamoring for extraordinary things in matters religious -- whether the latest apparition of Mary, or the most entertaining liturgy, or New Age quackery -- Pentecost reminds us of a God who comes as surely in gentle breath as in forceful wind or fire.  Indeed, it seems God often prefers the former, as with the simple Galilean fisherman who on a long-ago Pentecost announced the divine grace that was at work when the Gospel was first proclaimed, and fills now once more the hearts of believers. (cf. Collect).  Through the gift of the Spirit, who with the Father and the Son, live and reign, God, forever and ever.  Amen.

Nicene Creed

Intercessions (Cf. The Sunday Web Site; Joe Milner)

For the Church: that we may always be attentive to the creative work of the Spirit so that many may encounter Christ without unnecessary burdens.

For the peace of Christ in our hearts: that we may abide in the Spirit’s peace which surpasses all understanding and find strength to face the many challenges that arise in daily life.

For discernment: that the Holy Spirit will remind us of all the Jesus taught and help us apply it in our lives and to the challenges of our society.

For the growth of Christian community: that we may appreciate the gift of community, find support and encouragement within it, and work to enhance it.

For all who are burdened by fear or anxiety: that the Spirit will free them so that they may live life fully and offer their gifts in the service of their brothers and sisters.

For all who await the fulfillment of God’s promises: that God will lead refugees to places of safety, protect those facing persecution, and give peace to those with terminal illnesses.

For all who are ill or recovering from injuries: that God will heal the sick, provide quick recovery for those who have been wounded, and heal hearts from painful experiences.

For world leaders: that God will guide those working for peace, open new ways to resolve disputes, and help them remember that all life is sacred.

For peace: that God will turn hearts from violence in our cities, open new resources to address painful issues, and help everyone’s voice to be respected.

Send down, O God, upon your people
the flame of your Holy Spirit,
and fill with the abundance of your sevenfold gift
the Church you brought forth
from your Son’s pierced side.
May your life-giving Spirit
lend fire to our words
and strength to our witness.
Send us forth to the nations of the world
to proclaim with boldness your wondrous work
of raising Christ to your right hand.
We make our prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen. (ICEL; 1998)

Offertory Hymn  (Richard Proulx)

Draw us in the Spirit’s tether; For when humbly, in thy name,
Two or three are met together, Thou art in the midst of them:
Alleluya! Alleluya! Touch we now thy garment’s hem.

As the brethren used to gather In the name of Christ to sup,
Then with thanks to God the Father Break the bread and bless the cup,
Alleluya! Alleluya! So knit thou our friendship up.

All our meals and all our living Make us sacraments of thee,
That be caring, helping, giving, We may true disciples be.
Alleluya! Alleluya! We will serve thee faithfully.

Communion Antiphon

Closing Hymn

Holy Spirit, ever dwelling
in the holiest realms of light,
Holy Spirit, ever brooding
o'er a world of gloom and night,
Holy Spirit, ever raising
those of earth to thrones on high,
living, life-imparting Spirit,
you we praise and magnify.

Holy Spirit, ever living
as the Church's very life,
Holy Spirit, ever striving
through us in a ceaseless strife,
Holy Spirit, ever forming
in the Church the mind of Christ,
you we praise with endless worship
for your gracious gifts unpriced.

Holy Spirit, ever working
through the Church's ministry,
teaching, strength'ning, and absolving,
setting captive sinners free,
Holy Spirit, ever binding
age to age and soul to soul
in communion never ending,
you we worship and extol.