Bonus Pentecost Reflection

English: Derivative work. Original image was t...

An extraordinary change occurred in the 12 male disciples and women present in the Upper Room after Pentecost. 

 From being frightened and awkward men and women, they became transformed into courageous witnesses, proof positive that the Easter Spirit of fresh hope and new beginnings had prevailed.

English: Derivative work. Original image 
by bobsht Flickr (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They lived in a dark and oppressive world of Roman imperialism and occupation, of slavery and domination. 

Icon of the Pentecost
Icon of the Pentecost (Photo credit: Wikipedia

Despite being marginalised and imprisoned they had witnessed at first hand how Jesus had unflinchingly faced His death head on and come through it.

Maybe something John O Donohue wrote about death applied to their fearlessness in the face of the oppression they knew they would face in spreading the "good news."
“You should never give away your power to a system or to other people. 

You should hold the poise, beauty, and power of your soul within yourself. If no one can keep death away from you, then no one has ultimate power. 

It is within your power alone to transform your fear of death. If you learn not be afraid of death, then you do not need to fear anything else, either.” (O'Donohue 1997.)

Jesus had risen. and they knew He was still with them. 

But it was not their power alone that had transformed them - it was the power of The Holy Spirit that enabled them to overcome their fear.
From such unlikely beginnings, grew the early Church. 

                                             Thanks to Fr Austin Concord Pastor  
                                  for enhancing this lovely image Original Source here

As we prepare to celebrate Pentecost this year, I am aware of how many feel some of the mixed emotions of the early disciples. 
Major problems facing today’s Church have led to anxiety and a weakening and numbing of faith for many. 
Yet the release given by the Holy Spirit teaches us that we are wildly free and have nothing to fear, no matter what terrors of social reality hit us.
In the wider world there are any number of hope sapping crises– climate change and ecological disaster, issues of global poverty, a world focused on greed, consumption  racism, gender discrimination, war and threats of war.

Somehow in all of this there are still kind, compassionate people blessed with integrity, many "Good Samaritans"and "good shepherds."

This lovely homily from here quotes John O’Donohue who believed that each of us can practice blessing and urged us to rediscover our own power to bless others.  
When we bless others, we are blessed in return.  He wrote, ‘whenever you give a blessing,  a blessing returns to enfold you.” ( From his book, ‘To Bless The Space Between Us.)

John O’Donohue viewed blessing as prayer or invocation.  He writes, ‘blessing is a gracious invocation, where the human heart pleads with the divine heart,”
and “Blessing in the infusion of sacred power, the art of harvesting the wisdom of the invisible world.’ 

God is the source of all blessing, and when we bless, we become channels of divine power, there is an infusion of God’s joy, love and light.  
To bless is to invoke God’s power, God’s spirit, God’s Word to fill the person we bless. 

To bless is to believe, to have faith that the Spirit of God, the Word of God, the love of God, the peace of God becomes real and active through our actions.

 Blessing opens the door to the creative energy of the Holy Spirit, blessing releases sacred power, blessing heals and transforms us and our world, blessing creates God’s peace."

So Blessings to All this Pentecost

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