Pentecost (Scrovegni Chapel, Padua),
Fresco by Giotto di Bondone (1266–1336),
Executed between 1304-1306,
Fresco painting
© Christian Art

Pentecost (Scrovegni Chapel, Padua),
Fresco by Giotto di Bondone (1266–1336),
Executed between 1304-1306,
Fresco painting
© Christian Art

Gospel of 23 May 2021

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 Fresco Painting

Happy feast of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church! Today we celebrate the Holy Spirit descending on Our Lady, the Apostles and also on all God's people. Filled with the Holy Spirit, each sets forth on his or her mission to spread the Word of God to all nations and people. This is the mission to which each of us is still called today. Each of us is called to declare the glory of Christ within our own cultural contexts. Whether it is a little 8-year-old girl in the Philippines who shares how much she loves God; a priest imprisoned in China for his faith; a Christian volunteer trying to release prisoners from the clutches of terrorists in Syria; a catechist in a parish in Germany; a lay woman helping the homeless as part of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society in New York… all of these people bear witness to Christ. How can they do so? Because today the Holy Spirit has been unleashed on all people throughout the world!

The Holy Spirit gives us power in our lives. It is a power to do more, a power to achieve more and a power to be more wholesome than we can ever imagine. It is a power that comes to us as spiritual gifts through prayer. The Holy Spirit opens our eyes and makes us see things we otherwise wouldn't notice. The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom, knowledge, compassion, and love, guiding us every day. Our fresco painting by Giotto from 1304 shows the apostles inside a small architectural space, suggesting that Pentecost occurred within a small church. The Holy Spirit is represented as rays of light emanating from outside the room and bursting in upon the disciples…. From there they went and made disciples of all nations…

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