Readings and Reflection for Sunday May 23, Solemnity of Pentecost

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FIRST READING       
“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other tongues.”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles Acts 2:1- 11

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sit- ting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”

The word of the Lord.


RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 104: lab and 24ac.29bc-3tJ.31 and 34 (R. cf. 30)
R. Lord, send forth your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
Or: Alleluia.

Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, how great you are.
How many are your works, O Lord!
The earth is full of your creatures. R.

You take away their breath, they die,
returning to the dust from which they came.
You send forth your spirit, and they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth. R.

May the glory of the LORD last forever!
May the Lord rejoice in his works !
May my thoughts be pleasing to him.
I will rejoice in the Lord. R.

SECOND READING  
“The fruit of the Spirit.”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians (Galatians 5:16-25)

Brethren: Walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 
For the desires  of the flesh are against  the  Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are plain: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another.

The word of the Lord.

SEQUENCE (prose text) Sequence (prose text)

Come, Holy Spirit,
and from heaven direct on man the rays of your light. Come, Father of the poor;
come, giver of God’s gifts; come, light of men’s hearts.
Kindly Paraclete, in your gracious visits to man’s soul you bring relief and consolation.
If it is weary with toil, you bring it ease;
in the heat of temptation, your grace cools it; if sorrowful, your words console it.
Light most blessed, shine on the hearts of your faithful— even into their darkest corners;
for without your aid man can do nothing good, and everything is sinful.

Wash clean the sinful soul,
rain down your grace on the parched soul and heal the injured soul.
Soften the hard heart,
cherish and warm the ice-cold heart, and give direction to the wayward.
Give your seven holy gifts to your faithful, for their trust is in you.
Give them reward for their virtuous acts; give them a death that ensures salvation; give them unending bliss. Amen. Alleluia.

Or the following:

Sequence (poetic text)

Come, Holy Spirit, come! And from thy celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, Father of the poor! Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine!
Thou, of comforters the best;
Thou, the soul’s most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;
In our labour, rest most sweet; Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe. O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of thine,
And our inmost being fill!
Where thou art not, man has naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds,
our strength renew;
On our dryness pour thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful, who adore
And confess thee, evermore
In thy sev’nfold gift descend;
Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them thy salvation,
Lord; Give them joys that never end.
Amen. Alleluia.

ALLELUIA
Alleluia. Come, O Holy Spirit, fil1 the hearts of your faithful; and kindle in them the fire of your love. Alleluia.

GOSPEL         
“The Spirit of truth will guide you into all the truth. ”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 15:26-27; 16: 12-15)

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “When the Counsellor comes, whom I shall send to you  from the Father,  even the  Spirit  of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning. “I have yet many things to say to you, but you can- not bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

At Pentecost, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and Mary, giving birth to the church that courageously bears witness to the risen Lord, Jesus’ promise of sending an Advocate to guide his disciples is fulfilled.

The Holy Spirit is sent for a purpose… to remind the disciples of the teachings of Jesus and to instruct them further; to invest the apostles with the authority to forgive sins; to build up the faith and unity of the Christian community through various gifts of the spirit.

Today, there is a major renewal of interest in the Holy Spirit and spiritual charisms. Unfortunately, however, many ‘gifts of the spirit’ are restricted to spectacular, extraordinary and momentary phenomena which often become a cause of rivalry, conflict and division. Charisms that build up faith and unity in the Christian community, and lead to greater understanding, forgiveness and service, are true signs of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

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