Reflection for the Vigil of Pentecost

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Reflection for the Vigil of Pentecost

Linda Herndon, OSB | June 4, 2022

Readings: Joel 3:1-5,  John 14:15-16, 23-26

“I will ask the Father and he will send you another Advocate to be with you always”  … the Holy Spirit … “who will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” 

Do you think that Jesus’s friends (I’d just say apostles, but I’m sure there were women with them, too!) had these experiences after Jesus was no longer with them?

Walking along a path they saw some grain coming up through some rocky soil. Someone exclaimed, “That reminds me about the parable Jesus told us of the grain that falls on the different types of ground and the harvest it yields.”

One day, they found a coin on the ground, and one of them remembered Jesus’s story about the widow searching for her lost coin and rejoicing when she found it… and discussed what he was trying to teach them by that story.

Yet another time, when they saw a shepherd in the field, they started recounting all the stories they could remember that Jesus had told them about sheep and shepherds.

And this happened again and again and again…

They remembered that Jesus said, “The Holy Spirit will remind you of all that I have told you.”

And for us today? During a particularly stressful day, a bird came and perched outside on the window ledge of my office (which is quite unusual, since my office is on the fourth floor) and I was reminded, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matt 6:26-27)

Looking at the dining room patio these past few weeks, I have been so vividly reminded that the “lilies of the field neither toil nor spin but not even Solomon in all of his glory was clothed like one of these (Luke 12:27).”

I could go on and on recounting incidents such as these, just as I am certain that each of you could do the same… again and again and again…

For we know that Jesus told us, “The Holy Spirit will remind you of all that I have told you.”

We also hear Jesus in the Gospel say, “The Holy Spirit will teach you everything.” What is it that the Holy Spirit is to teach us? The prophet Joel tells us that when the Spirit comes, we will be able to prophesy, to dream dreams, to see visions…

This Pentecost, may we remember to listen to “all that the Lord tells us” each day in still quiet voices, in little ways, as well as in voices and events that shout out to us. From our listening, can we dare to take the Jesus’s word to heart TODAY so that the Spirit may enable us to prophesy, to dream dreams, to see visions. In doing so, may we then be the love and share the love that Jesus came to bring to the world.