Pentecost, May 19, The Spirit: a Sunday Scriptures blog

I hope I get to be at the Vigil (Saturday) Mass on Pentecost. There are different readings for the Vigil of Pentecost than for the Sunday Masses, and they are wonderful indeed! I especially love the one from Ezekiel — the dead bones Scripture (Ezk 37:1-14). In it, the prophet Ezekiel, in a vision, sees a plain littered with countless dry bones, representing the people of Israel. They are lamenting: “our bones are dried up, our hope is lost, and we are cut off.” Then the Lord acts, saying: I will put my spirit in you that you may live … I have promised and I will do it …”  The role of God as Spirit is to sustain the life that Jesus brought humanity through his life, death and resurrection. The Spirit has been doing that for 2,000 years in the Church that was born on Pentecost. Yes, this is the birthday of the Church, for the frightened and demoralized disciples came out of the Pentecost experience as witnesses, preachers and teachers and began to evangelize others. The Spirit is a renewing spirit — “renew the face of the earth,” we pray. How essential this divine act of renewing is! Every person, every culture, every religion goes through periods of decline, dryness, division, inertia. Our Church has seen many such low moments, but has been Spirit-led through them. If you think we are at a low point again now, it’s good to remember that! I wonder: If you could ask the Spirit to enliven one thing that has died a bit — in yourself, in our culture, in our Church — or maybe one thing in each of these — what would it be?

— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia; illustration by Jaison Cianelli

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