Feast of Pentecost

Jesus breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Begin with a few moments of quiet.

The intention is to open yourself to the presence of God within you and among those gathered.

This is a 5 minute facilitated meditation on opening ourselves to the presence of God within, particularly in the context of our current confinement

Alternatively use this method of entering quiet:

Invite all present to sit comfortably.

When sitting comfortably, take three deep breaths, as you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.

Now return to breathing normally and make the sign of the cross:

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Invite each person present to take a few moments to reflect on:
Where in the past week did I encounter God in my life?
Where in the past week did I inhibit God in my life?

Allow time in quiet for this and then, after a few moments, invite those present to share on this, if they are comfortable to do so.
If you like to have some quiet music playing during this click below.

Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt

Introduce the Gospel

The journey for the disciples of Jesus from the events of Easter through to Pentecost was one of growing in understanding. It is a journey from total confusion and loss through to the confidence of Pentecost Day, when they are empowered to spread the Good News of the resurrected Christ. The Gospels of these weeks between Easter and Pentecost are aimed at helping us to come more fully into that journey with them.

The four marks of our Christian belonging are

  • our personal journey
  • our community belonging,
  • our practical discipleship and
  • our adult integration of faith and life.

None of us “inhabits” all four dimensions fully, all of the time, and yet all four dimensions should in principle be there.
The good news of Pentecost is that the Spirit, poured into our hearts, enables all
four aspects of our faith to live: the Spirit helps us in our prayer; the body of Christ is animated by the gifts of the Spirit; our service of others gets its energy from the Spirit and the Spirit “reminds us” of all that Jesus taught. Today, we celebrate discipleship in the community of faith.

Read the GospelJohn 20:19-23
Read the Gospel aloud, even if you are on your own.

As the Father sent me, so am I sending you: receive the Holy Spirit
In the evening of the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.
‘As the Father sent me,
so am I sending you.’
After saying this he breathed on them and said:
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
For those whose sins you forgive,
they are forgiven;
for those whose sins you retain,
they are retained.’

 Reflect on the Gospel

Sit quietly now for a few moments and allow the images created by hearing the Gospel to emerge. Use the quietening music again if you wish

Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt

Using some or all of the following questions, today and or on different occasions over the coming week reflect on this Gospel passage.

  1. Jesus comes into a room full of fear. Sometimes it is fear itself that makes us close the door on others and on God. Occasionally a person comes along with the gift of breaking through our closed doors, a person who comes to be with us in our fears.
    Do you have memories of people getting through to you and being with you despite your closed doors? Who brought you peace in a time of anxiety?
  2. Jesus showed his wounds to his friends. Moments of grace can occur when another shows us their vulnerable side, or when we do that with them. Let your memories speak of such experiences to you.
  3. As Jesus was sent by the Father, so he sent out the disciples. This evokes images of receiving and handing on the things that give life: values, meaning, sense of purpose, love. Who are the people who gave you life by what they handed on to you? To whom have you handed on what is life-giving?
  4. In our tradition the final verse reminds us of the Sacrament of Reconciliation but its meaning is broader than that. Spirit-filled people are people who forgive. You might like to recall memories of when you have forgiven, or retained, another’s sins. What difference has it made to you and others when you forgive rather than hold sins against others?

Finish this part with a Prayer

Send down, O God, upon your people the flame of your Holy Spirit, and fill with the abundance of your sevenfold gift the Church you brought forth from your son’s pierced side.
May your life-giving Spirit lend fire to our words and strength to our witness.
Send us forth to the nations of the world to proclaim with boldness your wondrous work of raising Christ to your right hand.
We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer of the Faithful

In the Mass, the prayer of the faithful are the people’s response to their reflection on the Scripture readings. The following have been prepared by parishioners for our Masses on this weekend.

On this Pentecost day, when we celebrate the coming of the Spirit into our lives, we turn to You, our God, in renewing our commitment to bringing your Good News to reality by living out of the fruits of this same Spirit:

To live in Love: (pause) through thinking of and caring for other people. 
Lord hear us

To live in Joy: (pause) through recognising  Your goodness in all of creation. 
Lord hear us

To live in Peace: (pause) through refusing to retaliate in the face of provocation and violence.  Lord hear us

To live in Patience: (pause) through accepting suffering rather than inflicting it.  Lord hear us

To live in Kindness: (pause) through working non-violently to abolish war and the causes of war from my own heart and the face of the earth.  Lord hear us

To live in Goodness: (pause) through living conscientiously so that I do not deprive others of the means to live.  Lord hear us

To live in Trustfulness: (pause) through trusting others even though it may mean allowing them to be wrong.  Lord hear us

To live in Gentleness: (pause) through persevering in nonviolence of tongue and heart.  Lord hear us

To live in Self-Control: (pause) through not saying things in moments of anger but in taking time to reflect.  Lord hear us

For your own intentions: name those intentions you specifically want to mention Lord hear us

For all who have died  ………. name those people you specifically want to remember Lord hear us

We open our hearts and lives to you, Holy Spirit: breathe a breath of new life into us all! Amen.

Close the time of Prayer with the Our Father

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,
graciously grant peace in our days,
that, by the help of your mercy,
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

On this Pentecost day, finish your reflection with this music. Spirit of God by Bernadette Farrell.

Additional Resources

Fr. Kieran O’Mahony offers a scriptural analysis on the Readings in Written or on Video.