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Scripture reflections: 'Send forth your Spirit, O Lord'

 |  29 May 2017

Lectionary readings

First reading: Acts 2:1-11

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 104

Second reading: 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13

Gospel: John 20:19-23

Link to readings.


On this final day of Eastertide, we celebrate not only the coming of the Holy Spirit, but also the birth of the Church when the followers of Jesus went out to continue his mission.

Quietly and slowly I ask God’s Spirit to guide my prayer, and help me reflect on the images of the Holy Spirit.

Do I think of the Spirit in terms of wind and fire or in some other way? What is my favourite image?

What pictures do wind and fire conjure up in my mind? Gentleness or strength, warmth or burning heat?

In presence before God, I pray in ‘words beyond the power of speech’ thanking the ‘Father of light’ for the gift of his Spirit. I ask for his peace, and the grace to offer it to others who are in real need of it.

First reading

Acts 2:1-11

The Apostles are huddled together after the Ascension.They may well feel bereft, empty, weak, uncertain - with an inner poverty.

With the coming of the Spirit an amazing change takes place: they are filled with courage, strength, certainty and a meaning to life. The Old Testament images:‘Wind’ – the very breath of God; and ‘Fire’ (the burning bush; the pillar of fire guiding the Israelites through their desert times) – the power of God, would speak to the readers of Acts & revivify their hearts.

With God’s Spirit, I try to immerse myself in the scene. What happens? How do I feel? Do I just watch, or what? I allow God’s Spirit to enlighten me as I reflect on my life…


John 20:19-23

We, the living Church, celebrate God’s gift to us of his Holy Spirit. On this day Jesus commissioned the disciples and gave them the power and authority to proclaim His forgiveness to those who repent.

I become still in body and mind as I begin to pray.

I ask the Holy Spirit who dwells within me to be my guide. I read the scripture and notice the sequence of events.

Then I may try to enter that upper room and watch.

What is it in this emotional scene that strikes a chord in me, and why?

What impact do Jesus’ words have on me? Do they comfort or disturb me?

Am I called to forgive?

Is Jesus also ‘sending’ me? To whom? How? When?

I speak to Jesus, the one who gives me his peace, turning fear into joy.

Glory be to the Father...


Reflections from from the Jesuits in Britain.  


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