Pentecost, the feast of fire, is the omnipresence of the Holy in our lives, acknowledged or unacknowledged.
Catholicism embraces these wild images like “tongues of fire” which appeared in Sunday’s scripture reading. We remember “the burning bush”, “pillars of fire” part of our symbolic universe, striking metaphors for God. In the Pentecost story timorous followers of Jesus caught fire and the religion of Christianity spread far and wide. Maybe the ultimate proof of resurrection.
The second greatest feast in Catholicism—after Easter.
The great prayer: Come Holy Ghost fill the hearts of the faithful, enkindle in them the fire of thy love.
So at mass yesterday we had a beautiful kindling.
The prayers rolled out like lava streaming down the mountain. People expressed deep gratitude for the Holy among us. This outpouring should have been taped. Intense prayer for sick loved ones and friends, prayers for the dead and the highest prayer of all, gratitude These tumbled out with deep feeling.
Gratitude for being adopted by a father who tried his best mid alcoholic outbursts, for the gift of the refugee house and its impact on the neighbourhood,a literal rainbow edifice in our multi-hued city, gratitude for the life of Tom McKillop the founder of the unparalleled youth organization, Youth Corps, gratitude for youth gathering for a social forum, gratitude for the 50 years of L’Arche the organization founded by Jean Vanier to care for the mentally challenged, gratitude for Harvey Atin, Stanley Nieman and Louie Goldstein, local members of the YMHA who figured in my life on streets near here. After the war the Jewish community was still reeling from the anti-Pentecost, the fires of Auschwitz, Birkenau and Treblinka
This was a real eucharist (Greek, thanksgiving) beautifully led by a gifted priest.
The celebrant intoned the words: Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church.
Such faith on this June Pentecost.