When I was a kid it was uncommon for my parents to come and visit the school; in part this was because we lived on a farm and caught the bus to and from school almost every day; the exception was on Tuesdays which was mum’s shopping day and we could go home with her in a car chock-full of groceries. But as a young boy this was all quite fine. You learn how to function and relax and be yourself at home; and then how to behave and function quite differently at school. All of this works well enough until you are presented with those inevitable awkward situations where the two normally separate worlds crossover – such as being picked up from school and your mother tries to kiss or cuddle you – behaviour that is perfectly acceptable at home, but which you want no part of at all in this particular environment. Perhaps even as adults we continue to keep the various parts of our lives nicely isolated. We are happy enough to do certain things in church – like pray aloud and sing hymns and respond to psalms and stand / sing / sit /sing / stand / sit / sing / give and pass / stand / kneel / stand / kneel / stand / shake / sing / process / sing / kneel / sit / give / stand / sing / exit. Of course there is very little of this that we would do in any other environment. Last week we saw that this tendency to break down our lives into little compartments is a very western response and that the church has taken some of this onboard as a result of the influence of Greek philosophy which quickly began to invade the eastern spirituality of the teachings of the Jewish Messiah Jesus. It is little wonder therefore that we so often attempt to compartmentalise the Feast of Pentecost as a quirky and awkward invasion of heaven attempting to disrupt our ordinary spiritual lives.
Recorded at St Paul’s 6pm (10’58”)
Solemnity of Pentecost.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
Enkindle in us the fire, the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created.
And you shall renew the face of the earth.
Recording from the 8am Mass is also available (8’27”).