Reflection for Sunday – May 28, 2023

Readings: Acts 2:1-11; 1 Corinthians 12: 3b-7, 12-13; John 20: 19-23 
Preacher: Sheryl Zabel

Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ first followers, and their enthusiastic proclamation of the gospel to the people of Jerusalem, as well as the crowds of pilgrims who were there for a harvest festival.  

Christians have followed the writings of Luke, which state that the Spirit came fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection.   But in today’s gospel reading from John, Jesus appears to the disciples in a locked room on the day of his resurrection and gives them the Holy Spirit, preparing them for their mission.

Their mission, and ours as well, is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and live out his teachings, each and every day.

Not an easy thing to do.  But the powerful sequence that comes before the Pentecost Gospel really speaks to me and may speak to you.  Here are some examples. 

“Come, Holy Spirit…Shed a ray of light divine!”

When we are out in the world with our fellow human beings, when we listen to the news or read things online, it is often hard to see where God is, hard to believe that God is truly with us.  Recently, seventeen children, including an infant, were rescued from a jungle in Columbia.  They had helped each other survive.  This, I believe, is a ray of divine light.

“Come, Father of the poor!”

It is good to remember that divine love comes equally to all human beings.  We need to share in this love.

“You, the soul’s most welcome guest.”

God with us brings us joy.   Of course we don’t always feel God’s presence, especially when things are going very wrong.  But God is with us, and we need to welcome God, for God can help us right those wrongs. 

“Solace in the midst of woe.”

Too often we don’t feel joy, and not without reason.  People in the midst of war, people who are seriously ill, people who are victims of crime, are rarely joyful.  But, again, God is with us and can be a comfort.  We need, by what we say and do, to be comforters ourselves.

“Heal our wounds, our strength renew.”

Yes, God can do this.  We need to have faith that it can happen, that our strength can be renewed.  And we should help one another to heal wounds and renew that strength.

In our gospel, Jesus wishes peace to his first disciples.  He wishes peace to us as well.  And he sends all his disciples, from the first century to the twenty-first century, to carry on his divine work.

Let’s go! For the Spirit will guide us!


Sheryl Zabel
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