Pentecost Sunday – May 15, 2016

“Scratchpad Reflections” are daily meditations on the scripture readings for the day noted and are written by Dominican Brother Daniel Thomas to help readers gain a deeper understanding of the daily liturgies and Masses of celebration. Here is the reflection for:  May 15, 2016 – Pentecost Sunday

Today’s saint: Isidore the Farmer (1070-1130)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Acts 2:1-11     –     Psalm 104     –     1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13     –     John 20-19-23


“Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.”(Psalm 104:30)

 One of the delights of living in San Francisco is our proximity to the ocean along with the fact that we were also given a house only a short distance from the beach on the Marin County side of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a wonderful place within eye-shot of the ocean and at low tide I can see the waves breaking on the shore. I take long walks on the beach for as far as I can go without having to swim. It’s always a wonderful reminder of the vastness and endlessness of God’s presence to our world. I don’t think I could ever run out of some fresh reminders of God’s love and on-going presence to this world of ours when I’m walking on the beach. On this Feast of Pentecost I’m reminded of the above quote from Psalm 104 that fits so perfectly into our celebration. Even on a very practical level God has set up the ocean tides to “renew the face of the earth” TWO TIMES each day! And no matter how far we fall short of the Glory of God by not being careful of this earth … God keeps at it. What a wonderful and patient God we have. He’s so much different from me. I’ve often thought that, if I were God, and saw what the creatures I had created were doing to the earth … I would probably have said, “To hell with you,” long ago. Yet God never gives up on us. Even way back in the beginning when the disciples were left along in the locked upper room I’m sure they were at the edge of calling it quits and saying, “Let’s go back to fishing!” If Pentecost teaches us anything, it should remind us that God never gives up on us. The Holy Spirit recreates and renews us and the face of the earth – just like the tides – two times each day – or more, again and again. If we stick with the metaphor of the ocean how can we ever think that God would stop loving and renewing us – over and over, again and again. Somewhere along the line we are given a kind of “gift of tongues” so that we can speak of the forgiving wonders of God’s love to all those who are struggling in our poor, broken world. Just look at the example of Blessed Oscar Romerio. He seems to have known what it meant to be a follower of Jesus as he spoke out fearlessly in defense of the poor and persecuted people in his church. He must have sensed that he wouldn’t be given medals and honors except the “crown of martyrdom” and still he remained faithful to his call. Pray for us, Oh Blessed Oscar that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ’s love and “… send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth” and renew us just like the tides that wash the beach clean – two times each day – or more! Amen! (Today’s reflection was re-printed from 2011.)

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