Reflection for Pentecost

Written on: June 5, 2019

Acts 2: 1-11
Psalm 104: 1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
1 Corinthians 12: 3B-7, 12-13
John 20: 19-23

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

With a breath, God created the universe and all forms of life.  With a breath, the Risen Christ conveyed the Holy Spirit to the apostles, thus transforming their grief, fear and despair into joy, hope and courage.

The Church’s yearly celebration of Pentecost reminds us that the Holy Spirit has been coming into the world since its creation and will do so until the end of time. The Holy Spirit continually invites us into deepening relationship with God, each other and all of creation.

Who is this Holy Spirit?

  • The unbreakable, everlasting love between God and Jesus
  • The ongoing presence of the Risen Christ in our world
  • The divine energy that propels us outward in faith to love and to serve

Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, so I send you…Receive the Holy Spirit.”  (Jn. 20)

Jesus commissioned the apostles to renew the face of the earth by extending his love, compassion, justice and peace to all people. Through the action of the Holy Spirit, the early Christians discovered a new way to live: as a community that extends welcome, compassion, acceptance and forgiveness to all.

To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.”  (1 Cor. 12)  At

Baptism the life of the Spirit was bestowed upon each of us, drawing us into God’s beloved community and giving us unique gifts to be used for the good of others. God’s invitation is a personal summons to love and to serve by putting our gifts and our brokenness in God’s hands, believing that God uses our vulnerability to connect with the wounded human family and the fragile earth.

As the apostles invited others into relationship with the Risen Christ, we, the disciples of Jesus today, are sent forth to invite the people of our time into his loving friendship. In doing so we participate with the Holy Spirit in renewing the face of the earth.

Our world is desperately in need of this renewal. In this time of fragmentation and polarization, may we remember our call and responsibility to be bearers of Christ to the world. May we use the gifts we have been given to bring about God’s reign of love, justice and peace for all people and all of creation.


Sr. Barbara Schiavoni, GNSH.  In her 26 years as a Grey Nun, Sr. Barbara has ministered as a Social Worker, Parish Pastoral Associate and Adult Faith Formation Coordinator in Philadelphia, Buffalo and the North Country. She currently serves as a member of the GNSH Leadership Council. A native of Buffalo, Sr. Barbara enjoys being outdoors all year long, especially by the water!


Featured Photo credit: Ferdinand Feng/Unsplash


6 thoughts on “Reflection for Pentecost

  1. Sr. Maria Christi Drysdale, G.N.S.H. says:

    Thanks Barbara for your reflection on this “powerful Feast day of Pentecost”.
    I pray daily St. Augustine’s prayer to the Holy Spirit so needed in my life and in the people of God. Your last paragraph speaks to this need. May it become a reality in our world today.

  2. Michael McClure says:

    Thank you for your reflection. I have tried to understand the Holy Spirit since I was a child. Sr. Rita has helped me and so have you.

  3. Eileen White says:

    My favorite Church feast—after Palm Sunday maybe or the Easter vigil….. Your reflections are powerful and Spirit-filled. Thank you for enriching our prayer on the way to Pentecost

  4. Mary O'Connell says:

    Barbara,

    Your message is beautiful and gave me much to think about.

    Thank you,
    Mary O’Connell

  5. Patricia Geary says:

    As you note, only after Resurrection’s climax, that is, Pentecost, were the disciples ready to move forward. They knew that the power of God’s love was in their hearts and in the hearts of all believers. Yes, our world needs a reminder that the Holy Spirit is both love and gift. Thank you!

  6. Ellie wall says:

    Thanks to you all for these commentaries on our teachings. It gets my day started in a positive meaningful way. As a graduate of dyouville college I feel the caring and spirituality of the grey nuns helped me in my career as a nurse.

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