Acts of the Apostles 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.”
1 Corinthians 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.
Gospel Cycle Cycle A
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.”
Come, Holy Spirit! May the Spirit of our Lord Jesus be with each one of us today and present here as we celebrate the Eucharist! Some communities will experience a strong and visible outpouring of the Spirit today. Other communities will be aware of the consoling presence of the Spirit. Some communities will receive the gift of tongues today and other will receive other gifts of the Spirit. Each one of us and each community can open mind and heart to whatever gifts are given, delighting in the presence of the Spirit and rejoicing in the variety of gifts that the Spirit bestows upon us.
All of us and each of our communities are united in this same Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit, we pray. May this Spirit draw us deep into the mysteries of Christ and of His Church. May this Spirit deepen our love for one another and for all peoples throughout the world.
We are united in listening to the readings today. The first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, tells of the amazement of these first followers of Jesus. They could not believe that they could understand one another! They speak different languages and come from all over the then known world—and still they are able to speak to one another and understand one another. You and I are challenged to learn to understand one another here, even if we speak the same language. You are I are challenge to understand others, even when they speak in foreign tongues. Understanding is never just words. No, it is unity in seeking Christ together and an enormous respect and love for one another.
The second reading, from the First Letter to the Corinthians, reminds us that what unites is the capacity to say with honesty and truth that Jesus is the Lord. This is the great gift of the Spirit today. You and I are able to say that Jesus is our Lord. It is Him that we seek and Him that we serve and Him that we follow. Jesus is Lord! Jesus is my Lord. Jesus is Lord of all!
The Gospel today, from Saint John, is a call to accept one another and to forgive one another when we fail. This forgiveness is a gift to the Church and a gift to each one of us. Christian community only live and breathe when there is forgiveness of one another and deep commitment to love one another and respect one another. Such forgiveness always implies that there are norms in every Christian community: norms of personal living and norms of living in community. These early communities were very clear that there are ways of living both at the personal and at the community level which are not acceptable and there are other ways that lead to a deeper life in Jesus Christ.
Come, Holy Spirit! Guide us and guide our communities and guide our Church! Come, Holy Spirit. Only in you can we have true life! Holy Spirit, continue to give us strength to forgive one another. Give us strength to love one another and to challenge one another to in Christ and in His Church. May this Spirit continue to give us life and to bring us to the fullness of life! Amen!