Scripture Reflection - May 23, 2021

Pentecost Sunday

Acts 2: 1-11; 1 Cor. 12: 3b-7: 12-13; John 20: 19-23

“Come Holy Spirit…renew the face of the earth.”

Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York Scripture Reflection

It has been fifty days since we celebrated Easter. Today’s feast of Pentecost commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit, empowering the disciples to think and act in new ways, “to renew the face of the earth”.


Today’s feast provides a plethora of rich imagery with its readings, sequence, and colorful banners. In our mind's eye, we can see heavy winds, tongues of fire, and the varied languages of our world spoken aloud simultaneously. The Spirit is filling the entire world!


We are blessed this year that the feast of Pentecost falls within Laudate Si week, a week in which Pope Francis invites each of us to become the tipping point for significant change and healing in our world. He invites us to “renew the face of the earth” in our day.


We are called to celebrate the great progress our Church has made on its journey to ecological conversion. However, we still have a long way to go as we confront the ecological crisis of our world. Pope Francis reminds us “the entire material universe speaks of God’s love, God’s boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God.” (84, Laudato Si)


Our psalm for today’s liturgy reminds us that God has given us all living things and recreates and sustains life. As we think of God’s gifts, God’s caress: stars, planets, soil, water, mountains, birds, flowers, animals—all of God’s creation, how can we work toward renewing the face of the earth this Pentecost?


As we consider energy use, waste, and water, in particular, can we make some changes in the way we behave and do business? If we can, this will, in time, renew the face of the earth. Then we will be active participants in announcing the Gospel of Creation in every corner of the globe.


We pray this Pentecost may enkindle the flaming love of all creation in each of us.


Sr. Mary Ann Collins, OP