Happy Pentecost 2020!

It’s not just any Sunday, because it’s Pentecost!!! And I’m turning the site red today in celebration!

I could insert any number of images here which I’d find by Googling. Rather, I’m sharing an icon which has particular meaning for me:

In this blog I frequently use photos from a truly life-changing cultural immersion trip I made with other grad students nine years ago next month.

This icon of Pentecost is in the entryway of the chapel at the Norbertine Monastery in Albuquerque, NM – where our group stayed for a few nights.

The icon is an invitation. Notice in the bottom foreground, there is a gap in the circle of disciples receiving the Holy Spirit. That gap is for you and me to join this circle too!

And this icon is what you see as you enter into the beautiful chapel in this holy place:

The altar is in on the other side of this wall.

Even in the midst of the global crisis in which we find ourselves today – particularly on a Sunday in which many Followers of Christ were unable to meet face to face – it is a very good day as we are reminded of the Presence of the Holy Spirit within this divine/human community of the Church.

As my heart is heavy in remembrance of what I witnessed yesterday morning in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, I am inspired by the words I heard this morning (via live-streaming) prophetically preached.

The priest reminded us of how the Church is being re-birthed in new ways during this crisis moment.

We are called to stand up – not just in our pews or sanctuaries – but in the streets and at the Statehouse.

The Coronavirus has driven us out of the stale air in those sanctuaries (the virus spreads most quickly in enclosed spaces where people speak or sing loudly) into the fresh air of our neighborhood streets. There good will and neighborliness spread and the risk of viral infection is much lower.

It seems like a message from the Holy Spirit today, on this Pentecost unlike any other that we’ve experienced – get out of the closed room of your sanctuary and into the streets proclaiming God’s Presence to all whom you meet there.

I close with words about and from Pope Francis’ live-streamed mass on this Pentecost day:

Francis urged Catholics to look at one another with the eyes of the Holy Spirit, rather than the world, which “sees us only as on the right or left,” whereas the Holy Spirit “sees us as sons and daughters of the Father and brothers and sisters of Jesus.”

“The world sees conservatives and progressives; the Spirit sees children of God. A worldly gaze sees structures to be made more efficient; a spiritual gaze sees brothers and sisters pleading for mercy,”


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