Pentecost Sunday - 4th June, 2017

Liturgical Reflection


From Fear to Joy

As a ‘pretend’ organist (I gained my music degree as a trombone major) I always make sure I have at least one practice session before playing for Sunday Mass. Despite my rehearsal efforts, there sometimes remains a passage for which my fingers will just not get into the right position. The musician in me says “Come on! Get it right!” After that, the faith dimension in me says “Holy Spirit – it’s up to you now.” When that troublesome passage comes up during Mass, there’s usually a little feeling of trepidation. Perhaps one could say there’s an element of fear of the passage.

We all experience different times and levels of fear in our lives, which affect us in varying ways. Some will brush it off, some will seek help, some will persistently fight it, and some will let it overwhelm them and even consume them. Sadly we often see presented in the media the causes and effects of fear: women living in domestic violence; drug addicts caught in the cycle of placating their habit at all costs; teenagers struggling with cyber bullying; elderly people feeling abandoned; people living in debt because of fashion dictates; refugees escaping all sorts of horror in their homelands… and so the list goes on.

Before the Pentecost event, the disciples were living in fear. They withdrew into themselves and hid their belief in Jesus, fearful of the Jewish and Roman authorities; fearful of proclaiming the Good News; fearful of speaking out against societal problems and misguided beliefs; fearful of being humiliated for their belief; fearful of losing their own lives. All these fears grew in spite of the fact many of them had seen the resurrected Jesus. Yet it was in the depths of their fears, that the Holy Spirit came to them, and transformed their fear into joy… and as they say, the rest is history.

This Pentecost let us take courage and name our fears, bring them before the Lord and invite the Holy Spirit to dispel them and turn our fears into joy.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the heart of your faithful; and kindle in them the fire of your love.