May 20. Day 5: Letting oneself be transformed by the Word: “You have already been pruned by the word…” (Jn 15:3) The Word of God is very close to us. It is a blessing and a promise of happiness. If we open our hearts God speaks to us and patiently transforms that which is dying in us.
Laudato Si’ 222. Christian spirituality proposes an alternative understanding of the quality of life and encourages a prophetic and contemplative lifestyle, one capable of deep enjoyment free of the obsession with consumption. We need to take up an ancient lesson found in different religious traditions and also in the Bible. It is the convictions that less is more. A constant flood of new consumer goods can baffle the hear and prevent us from cherishing each thing and each moment. Christian spirituality proposes a growth marked by moderation and the capacity to be happy with little. Christian Unity Prayer Day 5. Blessed are you, God our Father, for the gift of your word in Holy Scripture. Blessed are you for its transforming power. Help us choose life and guide us by your Spirit, so that we can experience the happiness which you want so much to share with us.
May 21. Day 6: Welcoming others: “Go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (Jn 15:16b) When we let ourselves be transformed by Christ his love in us grows and bears fruit. Welcoming the other is a concrete way of sharing the love that is within us.
Laudato Si’ 231. Love, overflowing with small gestures of mutual care, is also civic and political and it makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world. Love for society and commitment to the common good are outstanding expressions of a charity which affects not only relationships between individuals but also macro-relationships, social, economic and political ones. Social love is the key to authentic development and is part of our spirituality. Christian Unity Prayer. Day 6. Prayer Jesus Christ, we desire to welcome fully the brothers and sisters who are with us. You know how often we feel helpless in the face of their suffering, yet you are always there ahead of us and you have already received them in your compassion. Speak to them through our words, support them through our actions, and let your blessing rest on us all.
May 22. Day 7: Growing in unity: “I am the vine, you are the branches” (Jn 15:5a) Each tradition seeks to lead us to the heart of our faith; communion with God, through Christ, in the Spirit. The more we live this communion the more we are connected to other Christians and to all of humanity.
Laudato Si’ 228. Care for nature is part of a lifestyle which includes the capacity of living together and communion. Jesus reminded us that we have God as our common Father and this makes us brothers and sisters. Fraternal love can only gratuitous; it can never be a means of repaying others. That is why it is possible to love our enemies. Gratuitousness inspires us to love and accept the wind, the sun and the clouds even though we cannot control them. In this sense we can speak of a universal fraternity.
Christian Unity Prayer. Day 7. Holy Spirit, vivifying fire and gentle breath, come and abide in us. Renew in us the passion for unity so that we may live in awareness of the bond that unites us in you. May all who have put on Christ at their Baptism unite and bear witness together to the hope that sustains them
May 23. PENTECOST. Day 8: Reconciling with all of creation: “So that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete” (Jn 15:11) We participate in the work of the Spirit so that creation in all its fullness may continue to praise God. When nature suffers, when human beings are crushed, the Spirit of the risen Christ – far from allowing us to lose heart – invites us to become part of his work of healing.
Laudato Si’ 221. God created the world, writing into it an order and dynamism that human beings have no right to ignore. We read in the Gospel that Jesus says of the birds of the air, that not one of them is forgotten before God. Hhow can we possibly mistreat them or cause them harm? I ask all Christian to recognize and to live fully this dimension of their conversion. In this way we will help to nurture that sublime fraternity with all creation which Saint Francis of Assisi so radiantly embodied. The Spirit of God has filled the universe with possibilities and therefore from the very heart of things, something new can always emerge. Nature is nothing other than a certain kind of art, namely God’s art. LS80
Christian Unity Prayer. Day 8. Thrice-holy God, we thank you for having created and loved us. We thank you for your presence in us and in creation. May we learn to look upon the world as you look upon it, with love. In the hope of this vision, may we be able to work for a world where justice and peace flourish, for the glory of your name.
May 23 Pentecost B. Fr Brian shared in his whatsapp group how in his family around Pentecost they would all reflect on the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit and consider and share what they saw in each other. “One year I was credited with kindness, maybe that was because I had tried hard to practise self-control. It would be a very nice thing for you all to do in your own families. You can see activities we have suggested in our Sunday bulletin today.”
When the day of Pentecost had come they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. Acts 2:1-2 There are varieties of gifts but the same spirit and they are gifts of service but the same Lord. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. Just as the body is one and has many members and all the members are one body so it is with Christ. Cor 12:4, 12.
SUGGESTED PENTECOST ACTIVITIES THAT COULD BE DONE IN THE FAMILY
· Spend some time together to reflect, discuss and share what gifts and fruits you see in each other.
· Let each choose the gifts and fruits they believe they need for their own lives and pray together that the Holy Spirit will bless each member with what they have asked.
· As an activity – possibly with smaller children – talk and draw pictures of different gifts and fruits, or use a poster of images of the gifts and fruits and colour it in.