Sunday 31st May 2020
Today is Pentecost Sunday. Today we have prayed in our psalm “Send forth your Spirit O Lord and renew the face of the earth” (Psalm 103). Although we have all heard of the Holy Spirit, She can sometimes be the most difficult of the three Persons of the Trinity to understand. A couple of weeks ago it was very windy here in Co. Fermanagh. Jesus compared the Holy Spirit to the wind. (John 3:8). We cannot see the wind, which is invisible, but we can see its effects on the objects around us. In the same way, although the Spirit Himself is invisible, and often works in hidden ways, we can recognise his presence in the works that he accomplishes in those who believe. She blesses us with gifts! St Paul calls these works and gifts - “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” - the fruits of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23).
In the Gospel today Jesus does not keep “social distance”. He breathes on his apostles. It recalls that moment when God created the first human being. In the first book of the Bible we are told; “Then Yahweh God formed man, dust drawn from the clay, and breathed into his nostrils a breath of life and man became alive with breath” (Genesis 2:7). Jesus breathes his Spirit upon us on this day which is the birthday of the Church. We are a new creation formed by the breath of God. This breathing of life into us is constantly ongoing. Our first intense experience of the world comes through our breathing - gasping for air. The rest of our lives it happens automatically - it is said that we breathe 28,000 times a day! Breath represents an interior spiritual dimension of life. We cannot live without it. When we take it in or breathe it out, it is “our” breath. The only human existence without breath is a lifeless corpse. St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) who is one of only four women who were made doctors of the Church said: “We live as feathers on the breath of God”
During this time of the coronavirus we ask God’s Spirit for the gifts of perseverance and resilience. What gift of the Spirit do you need now at this moment? The Breath of God is always working in our lives - we just need to ask God for them and surrender to God’s way! Remember that the gifts are given not for “ourselves alone” - but for the spread of the Kingdom of God and building up of the body of the Church! The Wind of the Spirit still blows in a million ordinary gifts - moving us on the way as we wander along. These gifts are still available - and free on demand.
For example people with a
- tendency to talk too much, who are always on send - they might need the gift of listening, the gift of being on receive.
- you may hear something salacious or damaging about a friend or colleague - you may need the gift of discretion, choosing to forego the short-term hit in passing it on.
- or that aged neighbour or harassed single parent you pass on the street - perhaps you need to introduce yourself, and exercise the gift of overcoming your natural reserve.
- And for many of us who are now jaded and cynical? We need that gift of innocence.
- For all of us who've fallen out big time with someone - we probably need a gift of courage. And forgiveness.
- And for those moments when we're in a massive sulk - we may just need the gift of getting over ourselves.
There are many images and metaphors expressed for the Spirit in Sacred Scripture. The Spirit is not only like the Wind or Breath. It also is described as Tongues, Water, Dove and it is like a Fire. Spirit is a flame that is meant to be passed on! Gustav Mahler, the late-Romantic German composer, once said that “tradition is the handing on of the flame, not the worshipping of ashes.” During these days where we are unable to gather as church physically we are not merely a church that hangs-on but we are a church that hands-on. May the Spirit of God renew us and keep us strong during these difficult days and may we know the power of the Spirit of God in our lives. Pope Francis on Pentecost 2018 prayed: Holy Spirit, violent wind, blow into our hearts and make us breathe forth the tenderness of the Father. Blow upon the Church and impel her to the ends of the earth so that brought by you she may bring nothing other than you. Blow upon our world the soothing warmth of peace and the refreshing coolness of hope. Come Holy Spirit change us within and renew the face of the earth!
Today the Bishop of Clogher Laurence Duffy asked that his pastoral letter to the diocese be read in all churches that have a webcam. The Graan unfortunately does not have the luxury of a webcam. However you can read the Bishop’s Letter in
https://www.clogherdiocese.ie Thank you for your donations and for your prayers. Be assured that you are being remembered every day in our community prayer. Thank God the community are all keeping well - the only thing we miss is your presence! May the Lord be with all those suffering from coronavirus and especially for those who have lost a loved one to this dreaded disease. Bless all our health care workers and their families. Stay strong. Stay safe. Stay well. Fr. Charles C.P.
Standing Order Form Link attached HERE. Please note if you complete a form please return it to your own bank.
Guild Mass Cards: We have Deceased, Mass Bouquets, Get Well, Birthday, Special Occasion, Exam Mass Bouquets which cost £2 / €2.50 each. The Anniversary Masses for Saturday Vigil & Sunday will be celebrated privately by the priests here.
Padraig Mc Guinness, Warrenpoint
Paddy Reihill, Lisnaskea
Maura Gormley, Raheny, Dublin
Elizabeth Mc Eneaney, Shercock
Declan O Connell, Kerry & Enniskillen
John & Annie Hassard, Drumlyon, Enniskillen
Stephen & Susan Mc Teggart, Newtown, Derrygonnelly
Patsy & Brigid Magee, Belcoo
Alice O Reilly, Maudabawn, Cootehill
Tommy & Ellen Bannon & their son Sean Bannon, Belturbet