This first weekend of May we thrill to the beauty of God’s landscape as flowers and trees bloom and blossom.  May announces the arrival of significant family events — first communions and weddings, graduations and family anniversaries.  Through these key moments we sense the continuum of faith which flows through our daily living.  We experience God’s ongoing presence in our daily routine, particularly with the Easter gifts of peace and strength, new life and love mentioned in today’s gospel.

This continuum of faith we long for gets stretched and sometimes ruptured by world events.  The aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing continues to unnerve us.  Evidence of global tension and conflict can be found in daily news bulletins from every continent.

Closer to home a high school student gets on a bus after Friday classes and begins to shoot…as another student uses his body as a human shield and then gets killed himself. And, even amidst a glorious spring weekend, someone close to us is experiencing job loss or family disagreement, sickness or worry about a relationship that all of a sudden seems quite fragile.

Next Sunday is Mothers’ Day, as well as our celebration of Jesus’ Ascension to the Father; we prepare the following week for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  Embedded in these events of family and faith is the invitation to open our hearts to understand just how the Spirit of God comes anew to our world and to our own hearts.

In truth, while the early followers of Jesus huddled together after Easter in that famous upper room, the Holy Spirit literally blew open the doors and sent them forth in service to others as described for us these Sundays in the Acts of the Apostles. So just what will this look like for you and me this Pentecost 2013?

We know that Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to the early believers as a community.  The Book of Revelation speaks of this community as a city with the glory of God for its light. How privileged we are these early days of the 21st century that our lamp is the Lamb of God…this Jesus of Nazareth who, with the Father, longs to send us the Holy Spirit of light and new life — a truly overwhelming gift of God!

The Jesuit Prayer Team