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June 8, 2003 Pentecost, Jn 15/22-27 16/12-15
Catholic Homilies
June 8, 2003

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Pentecost, Jn 15/22-27 16/12-15

Scriptural and Liturgical Reflection

The soaring, mystical liturgy of Pentecost abounds in themes. Perhaps the most important is the idea that in Jesus and the Spirit the diversities in humankind become unimportant. The Spirit is the source of unity amid diversity. She does not eliminate diversity, but she makes it possible to rejoice in it instead of fighting over it. Neither Greek nor Roman, Jew nor Gentile, male nor female, but all one in Christ Jesus. Neither Irish nor Hispanic, neither white nor black, neither straight nor gay, neither male nor female, etc.,etc., but all one in Christ Jesus. This is a glorious vision, not yet achieved in Christian practice (to put it mildly). Rather is a goal towards which we strive with greater or lesser success and indeed with greater or lesser effort. If we are unable to rejoice in diversity and continue to fight over, the fault is ours, not God's spirit.

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Once upon a time, not too very long ago, a father of young adult children was dying. He called his children together and told them how much he loved them and how they had enriched his life. He also asked them to help their mother when he could not longer help her. Because this was a man who always teased and laughed with his kids, he kept the session from being a downer by joking with them about what a hard job it would be but that he knew if they followed his example they’d do a perfect job. This last said with a wink at his wife. He also knew, from his own experience of growing up, that siblings often have issues with one another and he hoped to give them a unifying task that would help his wife and give the children a chance to appreciate their unity and put aside their disagreements. This Dad truly loved his children!

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This Dad truly loved his children!

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