Pentecost 2021 – and Covid 19

PentecostPentecost

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of Pentecost – or Christ sending the Holy Spirit down on the Apostoles who at the time were a group of perplexed, scared, frightened and disappointed, individuals who had locked themselves in an upper room in Jerusalem.  We are familiar with the biblical story of Pentecost Day – regarded as the Church’s Birthday.

How simply it all began. The Church was born in fragility and weakness. It had no property, no buildings, no money – its only recourse were people and there was not many of them. But they had spirit and were united in prayer and charity.

The Church should never forget its humble origins. If it, does it will not value the importance of the small. We need to experience the Church as small. We need to belong to a special community. We need a sense of closeness and belonging. A sense of interdependence and of mutual service. (Perhaps this is the reason why the Archbishop has been emphasising the building up of the Small Christian Communities in ever Parish of the Archdiocese).

We need such support and awareness of one another’s need and struggles at this present time of Pandemic. Covid-19 has been the cause for a dramatic downturn and disturbance in all of our lives. It has caused fear, anxiety and depression in our families and communities and in some cases the increase of domestic violence, because of the loss of employment.

When the church is stripped down to the essentials, we still have the simplicity and the joy of the Gospel. And of course, we have the Holy Spirit who binds us together and helps us to witness to Christ in the world.  ‘Come Holy Spirit and enkindle the Hearts of the Faithful’.

On this Pentecost Day – or the Birthday of the Church with about a billion members throughout the world – it must be noted at this time of pandemic the Church would seem to have its influence in Society curtailed by Governments of the world including here in Fiji.

In former times when disease or plague struck, the Church or at least some of its members were in the forefront of taking care of the sick, being with the dying and burying the dead. In this pandemic the Church have been, more or less, told "to keep out of the way" and let the State handle all these "good works" or 'corporal works of mercy'. Yes, for the most part it seems the Church is very much sidelined. It was ordered by governments to close their doors and gates and cancel Masses and ceremonies.

When the church is stripped down to the essentials, we still have the simplicity and the joy of the Gospel. And of course, we have the Holy Spirit who binds us together and helps us to witness to Christ in the world.  ‘Come Holy Spirit and enkindle the Hearts of the Faithful’.

Fr John McEvoy

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