May 15, 2016

Pentecost Sermon 2016

Series: ,
Passage: Matthew 5:3
Service Type:

I suggested a few weeks ago that to pray is to be made poor. I did not mean by this, of course, that it is to be made materially poor, but rather and more fundamentally that prayer makes us, in the words of Jesus, poor in spirit; for to pray at all is to acknowledge that there are things we long for that cannot be taken but, rather, must be given. Jean Vanier, the founder of the L’Arche communities, describes this beautifully: “Jesus came to bring the good news to the poor ... we can only truly experience the presence of God, meet Jesus... in and through our own poverty, because the kingdom of God belongs to the ... poor in spirit ... who are crying out for love.”

Today is Pentecost Sunday. Today we remember the sending of the Holy Spirit to the Church 2000 years ago. There is a great deal we might say about this: we might speak, for example, about God’s ability to unite men and women of different languages through the preaching of Peter on Pentecost Sunday – the Holy Spirit effects unity; we might speak about the symbolism of the wind and tongues of flame that manifest the presence of the Spirit; we might recall that Pentecost was a feast celebrating the giving of the ten commandments and note that the Spirit descends on the Apostles this day so that they can keep not only the Ten Commandments, but the new commandment of Christ to love one another with his love. All of this is present in today’s Feast of the Descent of the Spirit and must be remembered...

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