They were all filled with the Holy Spirit,
and began to speak foreign languages
as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.
(Acts 2: 4)

Pentecost recalls the birthday of the Church. People only too aware of their human weakness were strengthened by God’s Spirit to be united in proclaiming the most important message of all time. And we still are today.

Let us pray for the Church on this anniversary of its coming into being, that it may continue to be bold in announcing the Good News of salvation to men and women of every language, race and creed.
Lord, send us your Spirit:
And hear your people’s prayer.
Let us pray for our world, that amidst the conflicts and wars which divide us we may always remember that we bear the same imprint of God’s Spirit and are called to dwell in unity and peace.
Lord, send us your Spirit:
And hear your people’s prayer.
Let us pray for those who are imprisoned by fear and depression, loneliness and doubt, that the Holy Spirit may set them free to enjoy life as God intended.
Lord, send us your Spirit:
And hear your people’s prayer.
Let us pray for our parish community, that the Holy Spirit may inspire all we undertake and may bind us together with his gifts of wisdom, love and tolerance.
Lord, send us your Spirit:
And hear your people’s prayer.

“Footprints in the Sand” is a poem about God’s invisible presence. Sometimes seen on greeting cards, it’s about someone complaining that God was nowhere to be found at crucial moments. Then God replies pointing out that he was there all the time. Although he couldn’t be seen, there were two sets of footprints in the sand.
At Pentecost, Whit Sunday, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, the advocate promised by Jesus. The Holy Spirit is with us at every moment of our lives, and many of the things we do are only possible with the help of the Spirit. We may not always sense his presence, but there are always two sets of footprints wherever we go. For the Holy Spirit is the power behind all our attempts at doing good.
God’s Spirit makes people bold. The disciples were timidly huddled in a room before the Spirit released them to be fearless in their preaching. And when we need the courage to speak up for what is right or to take a difficult course of action it is the Spirit who emboldens us.
Life does not always go the way we hope it will. We suffer loss, we become downhearted, and we sometimes feel defeated. It is the Spirit within us that is able to console and comfort and who allows us to offer solace to others in their need. And when our world is driven with strife and discord it is the Spirit who urges us on to bring peace, reconciliation and unity.
But of course life is not all doom and gloom. We are capable of achieving great happiness, of being enormously creative, of sharing loving relationships with God and each other. This too is the work of the Spirit. For the Spirit animates us, encourages us and inspires us to go beyond our own human limitations to act in a God-like way.
Christians possess the Spirit through their baptism and confirmation. And today when we step forward to eat and drink at our Whitsun Eucharist we ask that his gifts may continue to blossom within the Church so that we may continue to proclaim to the world that God is alive and active, working through the hearts of men and women. Even if we can’t always see his footprints.



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