1991 May 18 – Pentecost (Bulletin Letters)
Cycle B – PENTECOST SUNDAY
PENTECOST & GRADUATION:
This year, Pentecost Sunday and Logan and West Harrison High School graduations land on the same weekend. It strikes me that the two occasions share some similarities.
Both mark an ending and a beginning. For our High School graduates, it is the end of their high school career. This weekend may well be the last time the class of 1991 will ever assemble in one place again. Many will go on to college or trade school. Some will start full time jobs. Most will be moving out and away from their parents for the first time. In our society graduation from High School represents the beginning of adult life.
For the early Church, Pentecost also represented an ending and a beginning. Before Pentecost, the disciples were followers of the historical Jesus. Most of them, though, weren’t very good at following their Master. All, but a few women and John, abandoned Jesus on Good Friday. With Pentecost, everything changed. This group of frightened, failed followers of a crucified prophet became a community of bold proclaimers of the Risen Lord.
Another similarity between Pentecost and Graduation is the confidence and excitement they represent. Most high school graduates feel as if they are standing on top of the world. They are looking forward to their whole lives. They are full of confidence and excitement for what the futures might bring.
The Faith community that emerged from the upper room on that first Pentecost Sunday was also filled with confidence and excitement. The Holy Spirit transformed their fear and dread of Good Friday into the joy and hope of the Easter reality.
A WHOLLY DIFFERENT SENSE OF IMMORTALITY:
The average High School graduate has a built-in sense of physical immortality. Young, eighteen year old bodies know little of life’s pains. They thrive on physical activity and have yet to experience serious mortal limits. Their sense of immortality is naive – it rests on the illusion of youth. They live in bodies that give them a feeling of unlimited energies and physical health. God bless them in their youth! No offense intended. It’s as it should be!
But the faith community birthed on Pentecost Sunday embraced a wholly different sense of immortality. Their’s is grounded in their experience of Jesus’s humiliating and degrading death. They had no illusions. Whatever hope they had in their futures died with Jesus on the cross. Then the resurrected Jesus renewed their lost hopes, and gave them a Faith in life eternal. The Holy Spirit supplied them with the courage to live out their new formed Faith by following the Ways of Jesus.
My best wishes to all our graduates. God bless you in all you do. And for all of us on this Pentecost weekend, may the Holy Spirit gives us the same confidence and excitement the early Church had in proclaiming and living out their Faith in Jesus.
ROAD WORTHY VEHICLE NEEDED:
I could use a larger, road worthy vehicle to take on my July trip to the East coast. I’ll be taking three other travelers with me. We plan to be in Boston for the National Catholic Worker Conference, then make visits to Catholic Worker and resistance communities in N.Y.C., Baltimore and Wash., D.C. We’ll need something larger than my little GEO Metro. My GEO is available for a trade. Anyone silly enough to let Fr. Frank take their car or van to the East coast, contact Fr. Frank.