Think about those times in your life when you have felt inspired to something really great. Where does that inspiration come from?
The Holy Spirit. God inspires us to do great things with our lives.
----Matthew Kelly

Saturday, June 3, 2017

{Pentecost} Eucharistic Adoration Doesn't Have To Be Silent

Last week, I was looking forward to my hour of Perpetual Adoration. I took my notebook; I was expecting an hour of silence and some time to allow the Holy Spirit to guide me with this post. Well, God has an incredible sense of humor, and he let me know right away who was in control.
The past few weeks, I've had the Chapel all to myself for the hour, so I was expecting the same this time. I walked in, and there were no fewer than 6 people already there. I love to go to Adoration when no one else is there. I know God can listen to everyone at the same time, but I'm selfish. (Even though I'm in my mid-50's, my 9 siblings still use the word "bratty" to describe me.) I like knowing that I have his full attention. I get more distracted when there are other people in the Chapel than when I'm alone. I was a little disappointed, but I made the best of it. I pulled out my Rosary and closed my eyes, trying to concentrate. You can probably guess what happened next: I came this close to falling asleep. Small victory for me: It didn't actually happen...this time.
Following the Rosary, I pulled out the readings for Sunday, as well as my notebook. The First (Acts 2:1-11) and Second (Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13) Readings didn't appear to meld together.  As I looked over my notes, it clicked. There were individuals coming together to gather within the apostles and the Jews. Each individual had their own God-given talent; each is unique in what they bring. Just as a body can not completely function without the other parts, the Church is unable to function without each individual bringing his/her own talents. When the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, it wasn't to make them all the same. Each individual had a job to do, and that job perfectly fit the talents and strengths of that person. When you stop and think about that, it's just incredibly amazing. The apostles were suddenly able to speak in other languages; my guess (I'm not a theologian and didn't read this anywhere) is that the language(s) they were able to speak were in the native tongue of where their evangelization would take them. The Jews who were gathered were amazed. Even within that group, even though they heard the apostles speaking in their own language, there were doubts and talk of "too much new wine" (Acts 2:13).
The reading from Acts is the image most of us probably have in our minds when we think of Pentecost.  The Gospel Reading (John 20:19-23) confused me a bit. Is this a different account, a different perspective, of the First Reading? As I read the notations in my Catholic Study Bible, it is mentioned that the verses from the Acts may not have been that dramatic. Could Luke have embellished what really happened? Or, were these 2 completely different events?
As the last people who were "sharing" the Chapel with me left, one woman remained. We've shared the Chapel before, so I felt very comfortable being there with her. As soon as the door closed, I spoke up and asked her opinion on what I was thinking. We read the 1st Reading and the Gospel out loud, and then went back and read the passages before them to see if we could understand them. Did I feel bad about talking out loud in the Chapel? Absolutely not. I truly believe that this is part of what the Holy Hour is about: growing in fellowship for His glory.
We may not have answered the question correctly, but we came to an understanding of the timeline of the First Reading and the Gospel. After reading both passages and having some discussion, we came to the conclusion that the passage from Gospel came first: since Jesus appeared to the disciples, this would have taken place before the Ascension. (This passage also gives the explanation of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.) Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into the disciples, but in the passage from Acts, the Holy Spirit descended upon them.
Our conclusion, right or wrong, is that the First Reading and the Gospel depict two separate events. I left Adoration with a song in my heart. The hour was vastly different than I expected it to be, but sometimes God does that to keep us on our toes!

1 comment:

  1. We enjoyed Mass tonight (4:00 Vigil) and the message about The Holy Spirit on this red Pentecost Sunday. Our Pastor had the service and we enjoy his homilies. Good post!!

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