This Sunday we mark Pentecost – the birth of the Church. This moment is an enormous multisensory event; it’s the equivalent of something going viral on today’s social media, but on an even grander scale. From its first preaching, the Good News is addressed to the entire earth, to all towns, cities and kingdoms, from the greatest to the least. The work of the Spirit reminds us that the Gospel is not the possession or right of one people, however great their empire. Furthermore, the beginnings of the Good News are not entrusted to the great, but to those on the margins. The birth of the reign of God is marked by unremarkable places, modest people and minor, insignificant countries.
In the Pentecost event, not only does the Spirit bring the Word to all the nations, but does so respectful of their cultures and languages. The listeners are amazed that they hear about the works of God in their own tongues. Through the Spirit, creativity and unity are achieved within diversity and difference – it’s a moment of absolute connection.
Sr Joan Chittister OSB says:
For the early Christians – and for us now – it is a matter of allowing the Spirit to transform us so that our lives and the life of Christ do finally merge, do really melt into one another, do truly become one, are united both here and hereafter.
Across the coming week, all students and staff will be marking this significant feast with ‘Stations of Hope’ during Pause and Pray, our time of contemplation. We will highlight a different Human Rights issue each day and pray that the Spirit will lead us to become more compassionate, more just, and more aware so that this same Spirit may light up our world around us, within us and beyond us.