“And when the days of Pentecost were drawing to a close, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a violent wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as of fire, which settle upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in foreign tongues, even as the Holy Spirit prompted them to speak.” (Acts 2: 1-4)
Pentecost with Christmas and Easter, ranks among the great feasts of Christianity. It commemorates not only the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and Disciples, but also the fruits and effects of that event: the completion of the work of redemption, the fullness of grace for the Church and its children, and the gift of faith for all nations.
Ten days had passed, it was Sunday, the seventh Sunday after the resurrection. At about nine o’clock in the morning, as they were together praying fervently, the Holy Spirit descend upon them. Note how all great theophanies (Gk “appearance of God”), in Christ’s life occurred during the course of prayer. After his baptism, for instance, when Jesus was praying the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove; likewise it was during prayer at night the transfiguration took place on Tabor. Surely too it was while Mary was praying that Gabriel delivered his message, and the Holy Spirit overshowed her. Pentecost followed precedent. The small community of Christians had prepared themselves through prayer for the coming of the Paraclete. The same is true at Mass today, every day; through prayer we ready our souls for the advent of the Spirit. NBCC/Pentecost Sunday-May 15, 2016.
Today at Mass our choir may sing Veni Sancte Spiritus, but if it is not sung then sometime today or this week; “you tube” this beautiful chant. Veni Sacte Spiritus is one of only four medieval Sequences which were preserved in the Missale Romanum published 1570 following the Council of Trent (1545-63). “Come, Holy Spirit, send forth the heavenly radiance of your light. Come, father of the poor, come, giver of gifts, come, light of the heart. Greatest comforter, sweet guest of the soul, sweet consolation. In labor, rest, in heat, temperance, in tears, solace. O most blessed light, fill the inmost heart of your faithful. Without your grace, there is nothing in us, nothing that is not harmful. Cleanse that which is unclean, water that which is wounded. Bend that which is inflexible, fire that which is chilled, correct what goes astray. Give your faithful, those who trust in you, the sevenfold gifts. Grant the reward of virtue, grant the deliverance of salvation, grant eternal joy”. Amazing Peace!