The Descent of the Holy Spirit,
Print by Gustave Doré (1832-1883),
Engraved in 1870's,
Engraving on wove paper
© Christian Art

The Descent of the Holy Spirit,
Print by Gustave Doré (1832-1883),
Engraved in 1870's,
Engraving on wove paper
© Christian Art

Gospel of 19 May 2024

The Feast of Pentecost

John 15:26-27,​16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘When the Advocate comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father, he will be my witness. And you too will be witnesses, because you have been with me from the outset.

‘I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you now.

But when the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth, since he will not be speaking as from himself but will say only what he has learnt; and he will tell you of the things to come. He will glorify me, since all he tells you will be taken from what is mine. Everything the Father has is mine; that is why I said: All he tells you will be taken from what is mine.’

Reflection on the engraving

In our engraving today we have the three classical depictions of the Holy Spirit:

  • the dove (based on the account in Matthew 3:16: As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove);
  • the rays of light (this imagery for the Holy Spirit  is taken from the Annunciation announcement when the Holy Spirit came upon Mary, and she was overshadowed with the power of the Most High, Luke 1:35);
  • and the small flames (the Acts of the Apostles, Acts 2:3, describes the Holy Spirit descending on the apostles as tongues spreading out like a fire appeared to them and came to rest on each one of them).

Pentecost is the feast of the Holy Spirit. Today’s gospel reading from John’s gospel refers to the Holy Spirit as the ‘Spirit of Truth’. At every step of our life’s journey, we look to the Spirit to lead us towards the complete truth, towards a completely truthful way of living. But that isn't easy. When we come to Mass on a Sunday we not only proclaim the gospel; we also proclaim ourselves to be gospel people. We do that knowing there is a gap between the proclamation we make and the daily reality of our lives.

We will always be straining to reach the values of the gospel. In that sense, being a Christian is a strain, what Paul calls 'straining forward to what lies ahead'. Being a Christian thus involves tension, but it is a healthy tension: between what we say and what we do; between who we are and who we want to be. The Spirit is given to us to empower us so that we keep journeying towards the truth, especially in the times when we are painfully away of the gap between the person we feel called to be and the person we are in reality.

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Thimas@
Member
Thimas@
1 month ago

The Pentecost vigil seems to have gone out of fashion.. I used to think that was an impressive occasion.
The last paragraph of this reading doesn’t make any sense. The advocate tells you what he has learnt? I guess a lot of the other stuff in this paragraph is just bad translation. I’m sure John was trying to put over a very good point but it reads terribly.

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
1 month ago
Reply to  Thimas@

I get the newsletter from a very well known parish in the West End; the PP was mourning the same and said that the longer vigil service, with four old testament readings, has fallen out of use and if he did renew it, folk mightn’t be too happy, turning up expecting a ‘normal’ Saturday mass. He mentioned he’d reinstate it if there was a groundswell of opinion in favour…
I’ll tell him to count you in Thimas.

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
1 month ago
Reply to  Thimas@

Agree about the last para. We come looking for the message but (without knowing who to blame) it was lost on me..
Now the first reading, from Acts…👍

Ernest Herrera
Member
Ernest Herrera
1 month ago

Happy Feast day to all!
Fr. Patrick selected a beautiful art piece for today’s Gospel reading.
I have a question for all, I count 12 flames above the people’s head and 13 individuals. Does the 3rd man from the left not have a flame over his head?

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Ernest Herrera

🤷🏼

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
1 month ago

Five people at Mass 🫤 Absolutely lovely priest – 90 if he was a day…. He was very breathless but gave a Spirit filled homily. I chatted with him after (in my v limited Spanish) – he was recovering from pneumonia, poor chap, and still on antibiotics. He said “That’s the trouble with this place – in the winter it’s winter, and in the summer, it’s winter” 🤣

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
1 month ago

Oh, poor man, he’s not alone in his depression! Presume you’re still in Spain, but the same applies here…. but not today. 🔆🔆🔆

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
1 month ago

Ooh, a bit of a gloomy image today, considering the glorious event. They went from cowering in closed rooms to fearlessness. Incredible really – but that’s the Spirit for you.. We will go to Mass in the Corias Monastery /Paradore, just two Dominican monks remain … it’s massive and most impressive. Bucketing down… which is forecast for our whole trip. I have brought one jumper which I suspect I will be wearing all week…
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us. Amen.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago

That’s a shame…

Jan-Ko Hab-Jan
Member
Jan-Ko Hab-Jan
1 month ago

…(…)… schönen Pfingstsonntag ❣️🙏
https://www.facebook.com/SODIRNIXMIRNIX ,,wer sucht der findet ”🤡🤡🙏

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago

Happy Feast Day to one and all!

My hand, after all these long and difficult weeks, is finally healed. I can begin driving again! Unusually I am off to morning mass today as we had first holy communions last night and the church was packed.

‘… send forth Your spirit, Lord, and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the Earth.’

May God bless all CArters, especially Father Patrick for his inspiring commentary this morning.

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Happy to hear your hand is healed, SfG. How the face of the earth needs renewing!

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Great!

Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Thank you for sharing this good news about your hand SFG. As Father Patrick says, may we keep journeying towards the truth.

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
1 month ago

This is quite a solemn depiction of Pentecost, in black and white, and the inevitable grey, mixing in the eye. There is the dove, the rays of light, the flames, and, true to life, this gift from on high is received in very different ways, or attitudes: some gazing upwards, some with heads bowed, some very low, as if unworthy, or even a little afraid – and the man on the right quite different from the rest. I love the word ‘advocate’ for the Holy Spirit, from the Latin, meaning to ‘call to one’s aid’ – to help us. If only I consulted the advocate, counsellor, helper, as often as I consult Google, things might go better!
Another glorious day in Devon, sparrows and pigeons especially vocal. I wish you all the same, not just weather-wise, but in the joy of celebrating once more the ultimate gift from Jesus and the Father, the Holy Spirit, who is with us 24/7. I pray we’ll all acknowledge more His presence in our lives, “seek and ye shall find”.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago

Today is the day that our church takes seriously as we are called Holy Ghost, a typical south London church erected in the C19 on a fairly tight budget. There is a fine stained glass window at the altar end with a variation of today’s CA illustration. If we were built in the C21 I expect we would be called Holy Spirit!

Anyway;

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, come,
From thy bright heav’nly throne,
Come take possession of our souls,
And make them all thy own.

Monica Doyle
Member
Monica Doyle
1 month ago

Happy Pentecost Sunday! Today I remember my Confirmation Day and the great expectations I had on that day! I loved the name I took.. Clare and my new clothes but there was also a sense of expectation…”Come Holy Ghost, creator come.. from thy bright heavenly throne. Come take possession of our hearts and make them all your own” 🕊

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Monica Doyle

Oh Monica I’ve just seen that I put the same quote up as you! You took the name Clare and I took Francis which was very popular for boys in the 60s. A lot of the girls at that time went with Bernadette.

May the sun shine on you and all CA readers today. And it would be nice if we saw a white dove while we are out and about (Una paloma blanca!).

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

We have a pair of collar doves in our garden, not white but a pale buff, very beautiful.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Noelle Clemens

Nice. What is a turtle dove Noelle?

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Ah, Chazbo – you knew I’d like that question! They are rare in this country, found just in the south-east. They migrate to sub-Saharan Africa, are smaller than pigeons, have lovely tortoiseshell colouring on their backs, and make that gorgeous purring sound. Song of Solomon, “…and the voice of the turtle is heard in the land”, signalling spring. Many mentions in Shakespeare, they are a symbol of love and faithfulness, as apparently they mate for life.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Noelle Clemens

Better than Google! Well we have them round here, and wood pigeons, and mixed race pigeons that live on fag butts and collared doves. I was once looking around a semi derelict building with my Jack Russell terrier and there were loads of pigeon nests in there with lovely little eggs in them. He eat the lot, must have been twenty eggs, and had no bad reaction afterwards as I was expecting him to be sick. He was a wonderful dog!

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

He would have done well in Trafalgar Square!

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