sunday 31 May 2020
St Ephraem the Deacon
(306 – 373)
Entrance Antiphon Wis 1: 7
The Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world and that which contains all things understands what is said, alleluia.
O God, who by the mystery of today’s great feast sanctify your whole Church in every people and nation, pour out, we pray, the gifts of the Holy Spirit across the face of the earth and, with the divine grace that was at work when the Gospel was first proclaimed, fill now once more the hearts of believers. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Acts 2:1-11
When Pentecost day came round, they had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech. Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, each one bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. ‘Surely’ they said ‘all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; as well as visitors from Rome – Jews and proselytes alike – Cretans and Arabs; we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.’
R/ Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
1) Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are, How many are your works, O Lord! The earth is full of your riches.
2) You take back your spirit, they die, returning to the dust from which they came. You send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the earth.
3) May the glory of the Lord last for ever! May the Lord rejoice in his works! May my thoughts be pleasing to him. I find my joy in the Lord.
Second reading 1 Cor 12:3-7, 12-13
No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ unless he is under the influence of the Holy Spirit. There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them. The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose. Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with Christ. In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink.
Alleluia, alleluia! Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 20:19-23
In the evening of the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. ‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you. After saying this he breathed on them and said: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Grant, we pray, O Lord, that, as promised by your Son, the Holy Spirit may reveal to us more abundantly the hidden mystery of this sacrifice and graciously lead us into all truth. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Acts 2: 4, 11
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke of the marvels of God, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
O God, who bestow heavenly gifts upon your Church, safeguard, we pray, the grace you have given, that the gift of the Holy Spirit poured out upon her may retain all its force and that this spiritual food may gain her abundance of eternal redemption. Through Christ our Lord.
Today we celebrate Pentecost Sunday-the birth of the Church. The disciples recognize Jesus, but he is not the same Jesus they had known; and his first words to them are ‘peace be with you’. This peace he offers is ultimately a deep and heartfelt awareness of Emmanuel: God with us. Have you ever had an experience like these disciples? At a time of crisis and fear have you been made consciously aware of this ‘God with us’? Sit with this memory. Take time today and allow the word-peace echo in your mind and heart. Let the word and all it may mean fill your body and remain within you. It is the constant promise of Jesus to his followers. It is a gift nobody can take from us. Give time each day to receive this gift of God’s Spirit. He gives it without even being asked. As you receive peace from God, send this peace in a prayer to those close to you or those who may need prayer today. Let us equally on this day reflect on the seven gifts and twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit and how we live them.