The webpage of the Youth Ministry of the Irish Province of Augustinians

Pentecost Sunday - Year A - 6th June, 2014

Today, Pentecost Sunday, marks the end of Eastertide and the beginning of what is called Ordinary Time. After Easter this is the period of six weeks which we have just gone through when we reflect on the accounts of the risen Lord. Even after the Ascension, that we celebrated last week, we spend a week reflecting on that episode in the life of Jesus. 

After Pentecost, however, we head straight in to what is called Ordinary Time. Ordinary Time is the part of the year during which, when we gather here, we focus our reflection on the life of Jesus in general and on what it means to be a disciple of his in our own lives. 

It is not a coincidence that we begin Ordinary Time with the feast of Pentecost. As we have heard in today’s readings, it is at Pentecost that the small group of believers in the upper room, that little, frightened church, leaves that room and begins to spread the message of Jesus. Pentecost, with its tongues of flame and the speaking of many languages is the time when the church changes. Until now it had been a small group, very much focused on itself and its own experience of the risen Jesus – this group is now transformed and begins to focus on the whole world, represented today by so many nationalities and peoples named in the first reading.
The impetus for doing this is important. This is not something that the disciples just happened to think would be a good thing to do; something that they themselves identified as the next step, if you like; this is something that they are sent to do by Jesus himself. From the very beginning this community, called church, has been missionary – it is missioned, sent, by the risen Jesus, to spread his message. We, the heirs to that first community, are sent in the very same way.
Often, when we think of being missionary we think of missionaries working in far away countries. That is certainly one aspect of it. However, and I think we sometimes forget this, each one of us is missioned – each one of us is sent from the very time of our baptism. Anyone who has been at a baptism will remember that they were given a lighted candle and then the priest said:

Receive the light of Christ. Parents and godparents, this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly. This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ. He (she) is to walk always as a child of the light
This is what we are sent to be and to do. We are to walk as children of the light. Our job as followers of Jesus is to live in such a way that our lives will fill the lives of others with light – we are to be people of forgiveness, of understanding, of compassion, people of love. Just as the disciples were sent out to spread the message of Jesus after they had received the Holy Spirit, so we who have received the Holy Spirit through our Baptism and our Confirmation are sent out to do exactly the same thing.
As we celebrate Pentecost we are reminded of the mission that has been entrusted to us. As we begin Ordinary Time we are reminded of where our mission field is – it is the everyday interactions that we have with family, neighbours, work colleagues and those we meet on our way, every day. The more we try to be people of light in these situations, and the better we become at it, we will be being more faithful to the mission we received at our Baptism.


Article posted on 8th of June 2014

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