• 100 Years at Epping
  • 100 Years at Epping
  • 100 Years at Epping
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
Wednesday, 31 May 2023 11:10

Pentecost calls us to walk together in the love of the Spirit - reflection

Fr Nick de Groot SVD 150“The life-giving power of the Spirit who empowers all creation is also the power of resurrected life for all beings.” (Elizabeth Johnson)

“A church that seeks to follow where the Spirit leads, will have to expect the unexpected and be prepared to be shaken to its core.” (James G. Dunn).

Pentecost ShutterstockRecently I have been reading some interesting books on Theology, one by Fr Diarmuid O’Murchu MSC, “Doing Theology in an Evolutionary Way” and another by Sr Elizabeth Johnson, “Quest for the Living God”. Both books are challenging but absolutely marvelous, in that they open up and point to a new way of doing theology.

Both of these authors have taken the invitation of Pope John XXIII to heart, “to open the Church window and engage with the world out there”. Evolution is not something new but was never used by St Thomas Aquinas as a way of seeing the world and all of creation. Evolution calls us to see the power and presence of God’s Spirit in a much bigger way than ever before. The Spirit did not come on Pentecost day only to give new life to Peter and the Apostles, but to the whole world. The extent, the inclusivity, the variety of ways the Spirit gives life, seems infinite. Ultimately, it is God’s everlasting love that is the dynamic of all that is and ever will be.

Last year, Pope Francis in his homily gave us some thoughts for reflection: “In the final words of the Gospel we have just heard, Jesus says something that can offer us hope and make us think. He tells his disciples: ‘The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all I have said to you (Jn 14:26)’. “Everything”, “all” – these words are striking; they make us wonder: how does the Spirit give this new and full understanding to those who receive him? It is not about quantity, or an academic question: God does not want to make us encyclopedias or polymaths. No. It is a question of quality, perspective, perception. The Spirit makes us see everything in a new way, with the eyes of Jesus. I would put it this way: in the great journey of life, the Spirit teaches us where to begin, what paths to take, and how to walk.”

We are Divine Word missionaries, followers of the Word, alive in the Spirit. There is something from the foundation of our Society that has directed us to go to the margins. At first it was to go overseas, to so-called mission territories. But that has expanded to the margins of cultures, other faiths, refugees, and other marginalised groups. For many of us it has been humbling to see the Spirit at work in these groups. It is not only a matter of us bringing the Word to them as, they sharing their Word and Spirit with us.

Pentecost is a Feast of Hope. The conviction that God’s Resurrected Love is alive in this world. There is also the experience of the hunger by the people on the margins, not so much for doctrine and teachings, but for presence and dignity and walking together in this love of the Spirit.

May this Spirit of God draw you ever more fully into God’s infinite love.