by Elizabeth Anne Maura English
We sense that COVID-19 has brought a profound change to our world. What that will mean? What will it be like to live in that world? We don’t know. We only know that we face a changed reality. And that’s scary. That fear, those questions are ones the disciples gathered in that upper room could relate to. This Pentecost as never before in our lives, we can understand them. Yes, the past held suffering and pain, but there were rich memories also of the joys and blessings of Jesus’ physical presence. What could make up for that loss? Nothing was ever going to be the same. What could, what would, such a future be like?
In the first chapter of Acts, Luke made a point of telling us that the mother of Jesus was among those gathered. Mary was the one par excellence who knew the risk of asking, “How can this be? It doesn’t make any sense.” It was fitting she be present as the disciples struggled with their own future. Like her, despite fear, despite not knowing, despite common sense, they remained open to a future they could not possibly imagine. And the answer was the wind and fire of Pentecost, of the Spirit.
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