The Thought For Today is by Jane Mellett
We can probably recall times when we were afraid, bewildered, felt like everything was falling apart and the doors were firmly locked. Today's Gospel shows us that even in those difficult times, there is always hope. Jesus came and stood amongst the disciples even though the doors were firmly closed. The peace that he gives them (Shalom) has a much more significant meaning than we first think.
The peace that Jesus offers is a peace that this world cannot offer. It is a peace that comes from a loving relationship with God. It is a peace of body, of mind and of spirit. In the Gospel of John the account of Pentecost is a lot less dramatic than Luke's version. The Holy Spirit comes gently, in a breath. John emphasises the importance of forgiveness in the mission to come. The disciples are being sent out to reconcile people to God, to restore relationships in the world. Forgiveness is costly but it has the power to transform people and heals destruction in the world, it offers that peace, that Shalom. It is through the Spirit that God is present to us in the world, doors are opened, fear turns to courage as we are sent out to work for a Kingdom of love and justice.
I put the following reflection up on April 19th a few weeks ago and I'm putting it up again today to mark Pentecost Sunday
'You do not have to bring the Holy Spirit to where you are. The Spirit is there already. Your task is to discover and recognise him/her.' ~Gerry Crotty
Confirmation ceremonies are taking part in many parishes during these weeks of spring. It is always a great occasion for the young people involved, their school, their teachers, their parents and friends. Anyone who has attended such a ceremony is impressed with the quality of preparation, the enthusiasm and energy of the young people and the excitement that goes with the day. We sometimes associate the Holy Spirit to making our Confirmation and that's it. We tick the box as having it done but never afterwards connect the Holy Spirit to our lives. This is such a pity because the loss is immense.
The Holy Spirit is the greatest energy or presence in our world. It is alive, active, creative and prompting us always to God's special presence in our world. As soon as a yacht lifts up its sails to catch a breeze it becomes alive and moves through water full with purpose, energy and delight. If the sail is taken down and put away the yacht is almost lifeless and just drifts along. With regard to the Holy Spirit we have sometimes forgotten to put up our sails to catch and harness a unique presence in our world today. It doesn't matter when you made your confirmation, put up the sails today!