Pentecost, Year C

Musical Reflection
Fire Escape by Foster the People

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Invocation

Fire-borne God,
before the violence of your passion
no separating wall can stand:
may your unseen Spirit
pour herself upon young and old,
male and female, gay and straight,
throw our borders into confusion
and give us a new language of love;
through Jesus Christ, the Image of God’s being.
Amen.

First Reading
God’s Grandeur

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
    And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

 

Second Reading
Veni Creator
by Czeslaw Milosz

Come, Holy Spirit,
bending or not bending the grasses,
appearing or not above our heads in a tongue of flame,
at hay harvest or when they plough in the orchards or when snow
covers crippled firs in the Sierra Nevada.
I am only a man: I need visible signs.
I tire easily, building the stairway of abstraction.
Many a time I asked, you know it well, that the statue in church
lifts its hand, only once, just once, for me.
But I understand that signs must be human,
therefore call one man, anywhere on earth,
not me—after all I have some decency—
and allow me, when I look at him, to marvel at you.
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Gospel Reading
John 14:8-27

Philip said, “Lord, show us Abba God; that will be enough for us.”

Jesus replied, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been with you all this time? Whoever has seen me has seen Abba God. How can you say, ‘Show us your Abba’? Don’t you believe that I am in God and God is in me? The words I have spoken to you I don’t speak on my own. Abba God who dwells in me does his works. Trust me when I say that I am in God and God is in me, or at least believe on account of the works themselves. I assure you that whoever believes in me will do the works that I do. They will do even greater works than these because I am going to Abba God. I will do whatever you ask for in my name, so that God can be glorified in me. When you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. I will ask the One who sent me, and to give you another Companion, who will be with you forever. This Companion is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world can’t receive because it neither sees her nor recognizes her. You know her, because she lives with you and will be with you.

“I won’t leave you as orphans. I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. On that day you will know that I am in God, you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by Abba God, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

Judas (not Judas Iscariot) asked, “Rabbi, why are you about to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?”

Jesus answered, “Whoever loves me will keep my word. Abba God will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words. The word that you hear isn’t mine. It is the word of Abba God who sent me.

“I have spoken these things to you while I am with you. The Companion, the Holy Spirit, whom Abba God will send in my name, will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I told you.

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid.

 

Scripture Reading
Acts 2:1-21

When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as she enabled them to speak.

There were devout people from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered. They were mystified because everyone heard them speaking in their native languages. They were surprised and amazed, saying, “Look, aren’t all the people who are speaking Galileans, every one of them? How then can each of us hear them speaking in our native language?Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; as well as residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the regions of Libya bordering Cyrene; and visitors from Rome (both Jewish and converts to Judaism), Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the mighty works of God in our own languages!” They were all surprised and bewildered. Some asked each other, “What does this mean?” Others jeered at them, saying, “They’re full of new wine!”

Peter stood with the other eleven apostles. He raised his voice and declared, “Judeans and everyone living in Jerusalem! Know this! Listen carefully to my words! These people aren’t drunk, as you suspect; after all, it’s only nine o’clock in the morning! Rather, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
    Your daughters and sons will prophesy.
    Your young will see visions.
    Your elders will dream dreams.
    Even upon my servants, men and women,
        I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
        and they will prophesy.
I will cause wonders to occur in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
        blood and fire and a cloud of smoke.
The sun will be changed into darkness,
    and the moon will be changed into blood,
        before the great and spectacular day of the Lord comes.
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

 

Musical Reflection
Catch the Wind by Donovan

 

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 Prayer
by St Anthony of Padua, adapted

 

O God,
send forth your Holy Spirit
into our hearts that we may perceive,
into our minds that we may remember,
and into our souls that we may meditate.
Inspire us to speak
with piety, holiness, tenderness and mercy.
Teach, guide and direct our thoughts and senses
from beginning to end.
May your grace ever help and correct us,
and may we be strengthened now
with wisdom from on high,
for the sake of your infinite mercy.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Mother, Parent,
who are in the world and surpass the world,
Blessed be your presence,
in us, in animals and flowers,
in still air and wind.
May justice and peace dwell among us,
as you come to us.
Your will be our will;
You will that we be sisters, brothers, siblings,
as bread is bread, water is itself,
For our hunger, for quenching of thirst.
Forgive us.
We walk crookedly in the world,
and fail of our promise.
But we would be human,
if only you consent to stir up our hearts.
Amen.

 

Musical Reflection
Street Spirit (Fade Out) by Radiohead


Blessing

Wherever we go,
may the joy of God the gracious
be with us.
Wherever we go,
may the face of Christ the kindly
be with us.
Wherever we go,
may the compassing of the Spirit of grace
be with us.
Wherever we go,
the presence of the Divine around us
to bless us and keep us.

May the blessing of God – the Rock, the Cornerstone,
and the Temple
,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

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Sources:

Artwork by Joris Kuipers

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Fire Escape by Foster the People

Poem God’s Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Poem Veni Creator by Czeslaw Milosz

Musical Reflection Catch the Wind by Donovan

Prayer by St Anthony of Padua

Lord’s Prayer from the Boston College Prayer List

Musical Reflection Street Spirit (Fade Out) by Radiohead

Blessing from The Pattern of our Days

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