“Receive the Holy Spirit."
Pentecost is not just another Sunday. It is a feast equal to Christmas and Easter themselves. The Feast of Pentecost, originally the Jewish Feast of Weeks commemorating the gift of the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai 50 days after the Exodus, was the day when the Holy Spirit was poured out in the Upper Room upon the apostles and other disciples in the form of tongues of fire and a strong wind, fifty days after Easter Sunday, the day marking the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Pentecost Sunday, June 8, 2014 (PentecostA)
From the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University
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Questions on Sunday's Readings for use by discussion groups,
prayer groups, or for individual prayer.
Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 2, Verses 1-11
1. In the First Reading (Acts 2:1-11), the Holy Spirit was given as tongues of fire accompanied by a strong driving wind. In the Gospel (John 20:19-23) Jesus was in their midst and gave the Spirit to the disciples by breathing on them. Do you have an idea how there could be two different descriptions of this supernatural event?
2. Is the Holy Spirit that came only to the apostles and Mary in the upper room? Or is it dynamic and constant in every life? Is the Spirit in your own life? How were the disciples different after the Spirit’s arrival? Would you be different if you were confident that the Spirit is with you? Explain.
Psalm 104: 1, 24, 29-31, 34
1. As the Psalm says, without the divine breath of the Lord we would be nothing. In what way does the divine breath empower you to be a new creation?
2. The Psalm Response asks the Lord to send out his Spirit. Having received the holy Spirit when you were baptized, in what way are you called to go forth and do His works?
First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians
Chapter 12, Verses 3b-7, 12-13
1. St. Alphonsus Rodriguez was a Jesuit Brother (1533-1617), whose job was to answer the door of the Jesuit College in Majorca. He did this for forty years. Would his spiritual gift of service compare to that of St. Francis Xavier, who converted whole countries? How?
2. Were Vivaldi and Michelango given gifts solely for their own pleasure? For whose benefit were they given? Scripture says, “To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” What are your gifts and for what benefit were they given to you?
According to John, Chapter 20, Verses 19-23
1. Jesus “breathed” on them. How does this relate to Genesis 2:7, “God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life?” What is the significance for you? How important is the Holy Spirit to you?
2. The disciples’ first task after receiving the Holy Spirit was to forgive sins. What impact does forgiveness of sin have on peace? Is it always easy to forgive? How is your peace when you experience problems with forgiveness?
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Please share below your reflections on the Sunday Readings. May we be blessed by God's words as reflected in your thoughts and experience-sharing.