May brings us the grand culmination of our faith, the coming of the Holy Spirit. We focus on God’s Word in Scripture to centre us.
SCRIPTURE READING: When the day of Pentecost came, the disciples were gathered into one place. Suddenly there came a noise like a strong wind heard throughout the house. Tongues of fire appeared which parted and came to rest on each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to express themselves in foreign languages, as the Spirit prompted them. Staying in Jerusalem at that time were Jews of every nation. These heard the sound and assembled in a large crowd. In great astonishment, each heard in their own language the disciples speaking about the marvels God had accomplished. – Acts 2: 1-2.
Mary reflects: “We have been together in prayer for some days now, the disciples and I, and what a precious time it has been. Today, I had a sense that something awesome was going to happen. The sun is climbing over the horizon, the air is fresh and crisp. Suddenly, a great wind fills our house, its strength overwhelming us like a powerful earthquake. Tongues of fire have appeared, settling over the head of each of us and filling us with joy and courage, energy and hope. I recognise the Spirit immediately, the holy Spirit of God who visited me all those years ago and impregnated me with the Word Incarnate. I am filled with a joy that is beyond words, for the Spirit has returned to complete and redeem the life’s work of my Son, Jesus the Lord. I am absorbed into the wonder of this moment.
Then, the Holy Spirit brings me out of myself to the needs of the disciples around me. Peter and the others are aglow with the Spirit’s fire and light. Together, we bow our heads in silent prayer, no need for words; then they rise and, urged by an unseen Energy, they rush out to preach to the assembled crowds. I am not surprised that the words they speak cross the barriers of normal language, so powerful is the sacred movement within us. That day, Peter and the disciples touched the hearts and souls and lives of all present, and thousands heard and were in turn converted, transformed. The numbers following the Way of my Son increased dramatically, and all have been filled with holy joy and hope.”
Dear friends and Mary Potter family, I don’t know what will be happening in our world by Pentecost. But I do know that the Holy Spirit will come down again as the Spirit does every year. And that Mary, Mother of the Church and of everything created, continues to fill the world with her wisdom and her loving prayer. We ask her, our powerful Advocate, to pray for us as we endeavour to eliminate the pandemic of Covid-19, and pray eternal joy for all who have died.
My adopted city of Christchurch has experienced several years of great traumas: devastating earthquakes, a massive terrorist attack, and now this pandemic. And this Pentecost is a special and important one, as our Bishop is to launch a diocesan plan of renewed Mission. We pray for him and for one another as we embrace anew the Holy Spirit, and work for a glorious revival of the church’s Mission, and the welfare and common good of everyone and everything in our world. A final word from our motto as our founder Mary Potter writes: “Let my Mother’s spirit live in you.”