“When the day of Pentecost came, “all the believers were gathered together in one place. “Suddenly there was a noise from the sky “which sounded like a strong wind blowing, “and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. “Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire “which spread out and touched each person there. “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit “and began to talk in other languages, “as the Spirit enabled them to speak.” Acts 2:1-4
On Sunday as many of us shared in the Church of Scotland Pentecost service led by the Moderator, others joined in the Pentecost service to end the 11 day prayer initiative Thy Kingdom Come. It was a global service including partner churches from around the world and major faith leaders from all the main Christian denominations.
The opening homily and prayer in the service was given by Pope Francis who captured beautifully what Pentecost is all about – the coming of the Holy Spirit, the comforter.
“Dear Friends” he said, “we must give in turn the gift we receive. We are called to share the comfort of the Spirit, the closeness of God. How can we do this?” Pope Francis then asked us to consider the things we long for: comfort, encouragement, someone to care for us, someone to pray for us, someone to weep with us and help us face our difficulties. We were then called to action: “everything we would like others to do for us, let us do for them instead. Do we want to be heard? Let us first listen. Do we need encouragement? Let us give encouragement. Do we want someone to care for us? Let us care for those who are alone and abandoned. Do we need hope for tomorrow? Let us give hope for today. Today our world is experiencing a tragic famine of hope. How much pain is around us, how much emptiness, how much inconsolable grief! Let us, then, become messengers of the comfort bestowed by the Spirit. Let us radiate hope and the Lord will open new paths as we journey toward the future.
Our own congregation took part in Thy Kingdom Come for the 11 day journey. Now, as we move firmly into the season of Pentecost, we would do well to keep the words of Pope Francis in mind and to let this be our prayer today and in the days to come.
Do we want to be heard? Let us first listen.
Do we need encouragement? Let us give encouragement.
Do we want someone to care for us? Let us care for those who are alone and abandoned.
Do we need hope for tomorrow? Let us give hope for today.
Let us become messengers of the comfort bestowed by the Spirit. Amen
You can watch the Pentecost Reflection by His Holiness Pope Francis on the link below: