1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13
by Sister Judith Bloxham, OSB
It is hard to believe that the Easter season is now coming to fulfillment with the celebration of Pentecost Sunday. The Scripture readings now focus more fully on the new life to which the apostles are witnessing, not only of God’s love and Jesus’ Resurrection but now fully influenced by the bestowal of the Holy Spirit into their hearts and lives. This witness and proclamation are symbolized by a strong wind and by tongues of fire. We learn that the apostles went out to all the people and could even speak to them in each of their own native languages. The Holy Spirit becomes the heart and center of the Apostles’ proclamation of the Father’s and Jesus’ love for all humanity, and all of creation.
In Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, he focuses on the Spirit as bestowing the many forms of gifts and the different forms of service. He uses the image of the Church as the Body of Christ which has many parts, and still is one Body, whether “Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons.” We, that is, everyone is united in the one Spirit. And, we pray in the Sequence, “Shine within these hearts of yours, and our inmost being fill!”
Have you ever found yourself locked inside a room, an apartment or building; or more like us all, locked inside yourself and unaware of the people, person or space around you. Did something happen that freed you to open up your space, your heart and soul? Did a thought, memory, a person echo, “Peace be with you?” What is so moving for me when Christ said these words of life, is that he reminded the apostles, and he reminds each of us that the Father sent him and so He now sends us to carry on that peace of the Spirit. The Spirit is waiting in our hearts to send each of us to bring that peace to others.
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“This, then, is the good zeal which(we) must foster with fervent love: (We) should each try to be the first to show respect to the other, supporting with the greatest patience one another’s weaknesses of body or behavior, and earnestly competing in obedience to one another… Let (us) prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.” Chapter 72, Verse 3-6 & 11
“Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.”