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June 4, 2006

Pentecost Sunday


The Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world (Wis 1:7);
every created thing trembles for joy,
every waiting heart recognizes the sound of his voice.
The accent of the Father whispers to children playing in the wind.
“It is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit
that we are children of God� (Rom 8:16).
The breath of God carries far and wide the confession of the Rock:
“This Jesus God raised up,
and of that we are all witnesses,� (Ac 2:29) singing, “Alleluia!�

Today the Holy Spirit is poured over the face of the earth
turning confusion to communion,
gathering in what was scattered,
making clear what was obscure
and teaching all to sing, “Alleluia!�

Hear the Pentecostal concert and rejoice;
voices of Parthians and Medes and Elamites,
voices hailing from Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
from Pontus and Asia, from Phrygia and Pamphilia,
from Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene,
voices of Romans, both Jews and proselytes, of Cretans and Arabians
all singing, “Alleluia!�

Those lacking in understanding
find themselves standing under tongues of fire.
Those once dark are illumined from within;
the flame over every head dances its way into every heart
and faces once abashed shine as they have never shone before.
Unveiled now, they “behold the glory of the Lord� (2 Cor 3:18)
and in every mouth there is the taste of new wine
and the sound of a new song: “Alleluia!�

Today the Pentecost is fulfilled,
the mystic number counted out,
To the seven times seven of fulfillment filled full
is added the one of superabundance.
This is the fiftieth day akin to the eighth,
the day of “the cup that overflows� (Ps 22:5).
The spatium laetissimum in closing is opened;
the space of the Church’s endless joy,
the vastness of her jubilation:
an immensity of bliss stretching from earth to heaven
and causing all to sing, “Alleluia!�

The dancers having danced their forty-nine steps,
take today the final leap
“Leap!� says the Choreographer of Heaven.
“The Kingdom of Heaven lies open before you.
Leap, while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you.
While you have the light, leap into the light
that you may become children of light
and all together sing, ‘Alleluia!’�

Today the Lord comes down in Fire,
the Spirit who is “Lord and Giver of Life.�
The Upper Room becomes a furnace
— fornax ardens caritatis —
and the Mother and the disciples walk in the midst of the fire (cf. Dan 3:25),
set ablaze yet not consumed (cf. Ex 3:2).
The Lord descends to Sinai’s height;
there Moses stands alone no longer (cf. Ex 19:20)
for the top of the mountain has become the Church
and the Church cannot but sing, “Alleluia!�

Today Life descends into the valley of death.
“I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live,
and I will place you in your own land;
then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken,
and I have done it,� says the Lord (Ez 37:14).
Hear the rattle and clink of bone against bone (cf. Ez 37:7),
the sound of the dead brought back to life,
the sound of everything scattered being reassembled,
the sound of the Spirit at work in every dry and sterile place,
causing all to sing, “Alleluia!�

Today the wine flows freely,
more copious now than when it flowed new into Cana’s wedding cups!
The best wine has been kept for last.
“These men are not drunk, as you suppose,
since it is only the Third Hour of the day� (Ac 2:15).
“All have been made to drink of one Spirit� (1 Cor 12:13).
This is the hour of sober drunkenness foretold by the prophet Joel.
Laeti bibamus sobriam ebrietatem Spiritus!
Prophesy, sons and daughters!
Young men, see your visions, old men dream your dreams,
menservants and maidservants, open to the sweetness
that like a river rushes into the vale of tears,
and learn to sing the holy table song of all the saints: “Alleluia!�

Today the Spirit gives utterance to those at a loss for words.
Today the Spirit gives breath to the breathless,
health to the sick,
wholeness to the broken,
peace to every troubled heart
and a song that rises irrepressible: “Alleluia!�

Today there is coolness in the heat,
solace in the midst of grieving,
dew poured out on every dryness,
water washing guilt away,
and a voice “like the sound of many waters� (Rev 1:15),
intoning in the presence of his Father, “Alleluia!�

Today the stubborn, bending sin’s old stiffness, give into grace.
Today the restless, turning, churning, find repose in the heart of the Lamb.
Today the frozen are thawed by the Spirit’s gentle flame
and those in the grip of a long chill meet the warmth of the Father’s embrace
and in the Spirit begin to sing, “Alleluia!�

Today locked doors mean nothing.
Keys are useless, bolts hold nothing closed.
“Let him enter the King of Glory� (Ps 23:7)!
Today fear runs frightened, exorcised by the Wounded One,
the Prince of Peace.
“Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered:
and let them that hate him flee from before his face� (Ps 67:2).
Behold, he stands in the midst of his own.
He breathes on us and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit� (Jn 20:22).
“Open wide your mouth and I will fill it� (Ps 80:1).
“Receive at last the kiss of my mouth (Ct 1:2),
‘my love, my dove, my perfect one’ (Ct 5:2),
my Church, my Body and my Bride;
and sing your song unceasingly: ‘Alleluia!’�

© 2005, Father Mark Daniel Kirby, O.Cist.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at June 4, 2006 7:27 AM

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