PENTECOST AND THE TIME THEREAFTER
When the day of Pentecost had come, the Holy Spirit took possession of His new Kingdom. The outward signs of His majestic arrival were something like the sound of a mighty rushing wind, and something like the appearance of darting rays of light, tongues of flame. Those historical details have not been embellished by St.Luke, but quite the opposite - scaled down; scaled down in the sense that human words (even divinely inspired human words) are inadequate to describe such an incomparable supernatural phenomenon. What the Apostles thought they heard and what they thought they saw are but minimally outlined by the evangelist. The external phenomenology of wind and fire are only an outline of the Holy Spirit’s action. The inspired text provides a bare iconographical outline of an irruptive and transcendental event, an ecstatic quickening, which far surpassed the power of human speech: the descent of the Paraclete.
At Pentecost a new body, a new People, was conceived, quickened, ensouled, delivered, baptized and confirmed, all on the same occasion. Unlike the earlier chosen race, this new People of God was not based on any particular ethnicity, nor on any particular human languages, nor on any specific geographical origin. The new People were brought together by a new shared faith - their belief in the divinity and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Faith in Him was the necessary requirement for any person from any nation to be baptized and so to be incorporated into the new body. That new body is the Catholic Church, the home of the Spirit.
When the day of Pentecost had come, God launched the Church’s universal mission ad gentes – to the nations. That mission was the start of the long, long process of the conversion of humankind, soul by soul, back to its Maker. Pentecost was previously the feast of the first-fruits of the spring harvest. The gathering of Christ's new harvest through the outpouring of His Spirit continues today and every day until the full number of the elect shall be complete (a number known only to the Father) and this world passes. On that Last Day the Lord Himself will return in glory, in visible form, to gather to Himself all those who have chosen to belong to Him. All will then be safely gathered in, and taken home. A blessing I wish for us all.
RESTORING THE CARDINAL NEWMAN MEMORIAL CHURCH
We need to
raise £200,000 as soon as possible for the repairs that are
needed to restore and protect the Oratory church building. And
that we shall also need to raise further sums for on-going
The total raised since last November now stands
at £30,000. We offer our
sincere thanks to all who have already
contributed to this fund. We still
have a long way to go before we
can begin the necessary work of repair
and restoration. Please give
whatever you can. It is always better if your
donations can be Gift-Aided, so that we can reclaim the tax.
Fathers and Brothers offer holy Mass and pray regularly for the
intentions of all our benefactors, living and departed.
MAKING A DONATION TO THE BIRMINGHAM ORATORY CHURCH RESTORATION FUND
Please use the Pay-Pal button below to donate online:
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