Following the Archdiocesan ‘virtual pilgrimage’ to Lourdes has brought back happy memories of me celebrating mass with priests and people from around the world, on Pentecost Sunday. During this time of pandemic, we have come to recognise how important the ability to communicate is. Not least the gift of speech,or the ability to sign and lip read.
In an era of Zoom, Twitter, Snap-chat, WhatsApp and Facebook, we can easily forget the preciousness of words -in the noise of constant time-passing chatter. The gift of the Spirit was given to the apostles so that they could speak in ways which went beyond any culture-bound languages. Access to this ability was given to us through our baptism and confirmation. This deeper level of relating to God and others allows us to learn the importance of listening to what isn’t said -as carefully as to what is. We can move beyond the temptation to babble on endlessly.
As St Francis tells us “preach the Gospel always and if you must, even use words”. Those parishioners working in the NHS and Care Services strive to be examples of the Spirit of Pentecost-and so must we.
Fr Peter Conley