Pentecost Sunday – 6th May, 2006
There was a tradition amongst the old folk in Connemara that it was not good to swim in the sea before Pentecost. As young children we found it difficult to have the patience to cope with this wisdom, particularly if the Spring weather was good. Once Pentecost was over the fear of colds, flus and chills having abated the joy of taking the plunge into the refreshing, inviting Atlantic ocean was something to behold.
In today’s first reading the disciples (like the old people and the sea) were fearful. Being locked up in the upper room, they were despondent following the death of Jesus. There was confusion surrounding the fact of the Resurrection. Had the Ascension really happened or was it an optical illusion.
Suddenly they were immersed in the joy, peace and presence of God in the form of the Holy Spirit. They were plunged into the gifts and fruits of the life-giving Spirit (second reading), the presence of God incarnate was assured with the welcome presence of the Advocate that was promised in the Gospel of St. John.
The long wait for the Summer is finally ended. On this feast-day we take the plunge and bathe in the buoyant, refreshing and life giving energy of the Holy Spirit.