The Catholic Parish of Our Lady
and St John
Lee-on-the -Solent and Stubbington
Parish Priest: Father Francis Sasinowski (01329) 663 435
Reflection
Pentecost Sunday Reflection by Father Francis:
Today we celebrate the great Feast of PENTECOST – the descent of the Holy Spirit on Mary and the apostles and disciples in the Upper Room.  And we come to the end of the EASTER SEASON!

In the First reading we have got a description of this event  by St Luke ( Acts of the Apostles ).
Firstly, a mighty wind filled the room and later tongues of fire rested up on heads of them.
The Holy Spirit filled the minds and hearts of Mary and the Apostles and disciples ( 120 people ).
At that time the Church was “ born” and was ready to proclaim the Gospel to the whole world.
The Apostles and disciples had been gifted with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and could speak foreign languages. Fearful and weak men were transformed into powerful and brave witnesses of Resurrected Jesus.
We, too, have received the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Baptism and later in the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit have been given to us!

God wants us to be “ spiritual “ and to be holy and saintly persons.

In the Holy Spirit He meets us in our sin, ear, weakness and failure and gives us supernatural powers and permanent dispositions to do good through these Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
WISDOM  -  to have an intimate knowledge of God, to experience Him, to be able to judge
                     Divine things.
UNDERSTANDING  -  to understand more fully the Truths of our Faith, to love and serve Him,
                                     and to live as a follower of Christ.
KNOWLEDGE  -  to understand world, good and evil in relation to God, to know better ourselves
                             and to judge created things.
COUNSEL  -  to make a right judgement, to make a good decision according to the Will of God,
                      to know a difference between good and evil.
FORTITUDE  -  a power to resist evil, temptations and passions, to accept life as it is, to
                        overcome fear and to stand up for what is good in the sight of the Lord.
PIETY  -  reverence and a deep sense of respect for God, humility, trust and love of God and
               want to pay worship and duty to Him.
FEAR OF GOD  -  fear of offending Him through sin, a desire to do the Will of God.

The Holy Spirit is “ the soul of the Church “. We can find His presence everywhere in the life of the Church:
In the Scripture He inspired, in the Teaching of the Church He assists, in the Sacraments,
The Liturgy, in private prayer, witness of saints and work of missionaries.

WHO IS the HOLY SPIRIT?
In the Creed we confess – “ He is the giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
The Holy Spirit is the Bond of Love between the Father and the Son, the Might of God as one of 3 Divine Persons. He works and dwells in us, when we are in the state of grace.

The HOLY SPIRIT sanctifies, inspires, guides and enables us to evangelize the world.

SYMBOLS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Fire – symbolizes the Love and powerful and transforming Power of the Holy Spirit.
Air – as the wind or breath, symbolizes the spiritual Life.
Dove -  symbol of Peace and purity of heart.
Oil – as an anointing and healing, leaving an indelible character on the soul in Sacraments of
         Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders.

In today`s Responsorial Psalm we ask God to “ send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth “ and we want to “ bless the Lord “ because “ the glory of the Lord last for ever “.

In the Second reading St Paul tells us about a variety of gifts in the Church, every gift of the Holy Spirit is given for a good purpose and that without a help from the Holy Spirit we even cannot pray.

Today after the Second Reading is said/sung the beautiful Sequence “ Veni Sancte Spiritus “.

It gives us an opportunity to know more Who He Is! – The Holy Spirit.

HE IS:  Lord of Light, Father of the poor, The Best Consoler, Delightful Guest of our souls,
            Giver of Peace, Solace in the midst of woe…

And we ask Him to: come with treasures which endure, to heal our wounds, wash the stains of our guilt. To bend the stubborn hearts and wills and to give us:

COMFORT WHEN WE DIE, LIFE WITH HIM ON HIGH and JOYS THAT NEVER END.

The Gospel Acclamation is a form of prayer, too.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your LOVE.

And, finally, the Gospel reading takes us back to the Upper Room, just in Easter evening when Jesus appeared to the Apostles full of fear of the Jews.
We had greeted them with words : “ Peace be with you “ and breathed on them and for the first time offered them the Holy Spirit and sent them on the Mission of Mercy.
“ Receive the Holy Spirit; for those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven…”
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The Holy Spirit truly lives in us, we are His temples. Thanks to Him we have a sure and constant supply of spiritual energy!  With Him we are able to do great things and deeds.
When we allow Him to work in us – our life may be transformed into one full of love, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control.

Let us ask today that the Holy Spirit kindle in our hearts great Love for God and our neighbour.
COME HOLY SPIRIT AND RENEW THE FACE OF THE EARTH!
MARY, THE MOTHER OF THE CHURCH AND SPOUSE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT - PRAY FOR US !

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SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION – if you would like to come for Confession, please contact Fr Francis by phone or by email to arrange the date and time!
May GOD,the Father of light, Who is pleased to enlighten the disciples` minds by  the outpouring of the Spirit, the Paraclete, grants you gladness by His blessing and make you always abound with the gifts of the same Spirit.
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Looking forward to meeting you in the church at the Holy Mass,
Fr Francis