Readings and Homily
May 31, 2020
Deacon Greg Feary
Temporary Pastoral Administrator
Our Lady Help of Christians
Cheektowaga, New York
Readings for Mass
As you well know about me, I have 4 grandsons who all live in Virginia. For the past few years, during the summer, the oldest two would come to our home and spend a week with Grandma and Papa. Each day would be jam packed with activity as you know how the young ones like to keep moving. The days would be filled with activities in the yard, games in the house and usually a special adventure to a local attraction.
Since it was summertime, the backyard activities would involve water especially the filling and throwing of water balloons. There was one rule; since Papa does not like to get wet; no balloons at Papa. In variably the question would come, “Papa, why can’t we throw water balloons at you?” My answer, “I don’t like getting wet!” Well, last summer, the Mason and Ben must have worn me down. I consented to a water balloon war with the boys. Balloons were not only flying everywhere but sneak attacks occurred where balloons were strategically placed put shirts and the legs of shorts and smashed against the body of this Papa. I was soaked from head to toe.
All the while I was looking at the faces of the six and four year old boys. The look was amazing. They saw their Papa having fun in just the same way as them. My reactions of course were over the top but very fun-filled for them. I became a six or four year old boy just for them. It was just what they needed and truth be told, just what I needed.
What does this have to do with Pentecost? My reflection takes me to what the Spirit at Pentecost and today does for us if we allow it. The Spirit coaxes and enables the earliest followers of Jesus to break down the barriers of those around them. In the story the disciples were able to break down the barrier of language so that God’s peace and love could be proclaimed. In working with the Spirt that is alive and well we can break down the barriers that separate us: age, culture, nationality, race, gender and creed to continue to build up the Kingdom of God in our midst.
Just like I was able to breakdown the barrier of not wanting to get wet to unleash the joy and love of being a boy again with my grandsons, so too are we called to break down the barrier of what holds us back from sharing God’s peace, love and joy within our family, among our friends and with our colleagues. The response to our readings today speak of the task, “Lord, send out your spirit and renew the face of the earth.” God has sent out God’s Spirit and the renewal can only come about if we embrace and live that Spirit.
Our Lady Help of Christians, pray for us!