|Jesus appears to the apostles - Stations of the Resurrection|
"Just before he called the Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII prayed “Renew your wonders in this our day as by a New Pentecost” and we have seen an amazing renewal in the Church over the last 45 years as we have come to realize that as ‘the people of God’ we have all been called to announce and work for his kingdom on earth.
Understandably, with this renewed calling and heightened responsibility, there can often be an accompanying sense of inadequacy. How can I do this? Jesus’ first apostles felt the same. They were uneducated working men, yet he gave them the task of preaching the Gospel to all nations. They too felt they weren’t up to it which was why he told them in Luke’s gospel “to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high”. Thus they stayed and prayed and waited for the promised Holy Spirit to come… and the Spirit came at Pentecost. After that the same frightened men went out doing amazing miracles and dying martyr’s deaths, such were their courage and passion for God.
It is the same Holy Spirit living in the Church and in us today, however weak and inadequate we might feel. Easter-tide is a fantastic opportunity for us to reflect on what happened to those first apostles because what happened to them is also possible for us. One of the easiest ways to reflect on this is as the Church directs us in the liturgy, to read the Acts of the Apostles during the Easter-tide period.
After the extra prayer and devotions that we often do during Lent, the temptation is to go back to normal after Easter. However, we still have a wonderful invitation to spend 50 days in celebration and preparation for the great graces God wants to give us at Pentecost. God is still at work doing amazing miracles and healings in the world today through committed Catholics going out and preaching the Gospel. If you want to be encouraged check out http://www.coretlumenchristi.org/
To help people reflect more deeply during Easter-tide, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, one of the new lay movements in the Church have, in conjunction with the Bible Society, produced a wonderful daily prayer guide called “50 Days of Freedom” (cost £2 plus p&p). This is particularly suitable for individual use and RCIA groups. There are special discounts for bulk orders. For further details contact Goodnews, tel: 020 7352 5298 or email email@example.com. The office also has details of other Pentecost events and retreats happening round the country- See http://www.ccr.org.uk/
We particularly recommend a wonderful course called, The Life in the Spirit Seminars. If there is one running near you, why not go along? You will find it a great blessing. A version of this called “This Promise is for You” is ideal for parish groups. It is available on DVD from Goodnews Books (tel 01582 571011). Email firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.goodnewsbooks.net/ So let’s pray that Pentecost will this year be a new door opening for all of us as we are transformed and empowered in a new way by the Holy Spirit."