Scripture Reflection for Pentecost Sunday

This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. The readings are from Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34; 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13; and John 20:19-23.

Many of you know that I love art, and I have a real appreciation for sacred art. However, sometimes I find it challenging to pray with because it’s a little too “neat and tidy.” I had a book for Lent, and one day a week, we prayed visio divina with different images from stained glass windows, and I had such a hard time connecting with most of them because I didn’t feel that they truly communicated the suffering that Jesus endured for us. Likewise, I think sometimes we have too neat a picture of Pentecost. If you read the account in Acts 2 and actually imagine what it would have been like to be there, it was probably pretty chaotic!

The Holy Spirit is powerful, and when He shows up, it is not always peaceful and calm. Sometimes? Absolutely! After all, gentleness and peace and two Fruits of the Holy Spirit!

Sometimes in my prayer life, I experience a feeling of calm or assurance or warmth (it’s hard for me to put into words) that I have come to discern is absolutely the presence of God. Other times, it is a bit more unexpected. In March, I started praying the Impossible Novena, which walks with Mary through the nine months of her pregnancy. It begins on March 25 and ends on Christmas. I chose three specific intentions for this novena, and since starting the prayer, I have things happening in my life – painful things, stressful things, exciting things – but certainly not calm things. I spoke to my spiritual director about everything, and she said, “It sounds like the Holy Spirit is shaking things up!” I truly believe the Lord is answering my prayer in a very unexpected way, and for that, I am grateful. This Sunday, invite the Holy Spirit into your life in whatever way He will show up, whether it be a small whisper (1 Kings 19:12) or the sound of wind and fire!

I am so grateful for the opportunity to write these reflections every week. This was started years ago (an idea of my husband’s) when I was looking for a way to minister particularly to the faculty through Campus Ministry. They have blessed my own spiritual life, and I am grateful and humbled every time anyone reaches out to say that something resonated with them. Know of my prayers this summer!