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“Come, Holy Spirit, Come” by Sr. Bernadine Reyes, OSB, Prioress

Sr. Bernadine's Reflection Graphic May 2024Our readings for Mass over the Easter Season have emersed us in the struggles of the early followers of Jesus. They were first called “those that followed the way” and later became known as Christians. It is an amazing story of perseverance and commitment to discipleship.

In May, our readings take us first to the Ascension story. The time came when Christ would leave this human community yet not before promising the “power of the Holy Spirit.” The readings then culminate with the powerful Pentecost experience in ACTS and the Gospel of John. Tongues of Fire appear, language is not a barrier, the mighty acts of God are being heard. In the Gospel, Jesus breathed on those present and said,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:22). And the liturgy includes the ancient Sequence, Veni Sancte Spiritus – Come, Holy Spirit, come! These are the stories of the birth of the Church.

After these powerful liturgies, we come to Monday after Pentecost, and we are back in Ordinary time. And it brings us back to the present. In our day, there are no tongues of fire or unity in languages, but we do have the “breath of God” manifested in each person on this earth.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11,” 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. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all the these, distributing them individually to each person as the Spirit wishes.”

You and I are the disciples of our day. And it is true, we have not been left orphaned. The breath of God continues in our day. What gift has the Spirit breathed into you?

Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

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