JUSTeach Newsletter

May 2003

Celebrating Pentecost


As we come to the close of another school year it is important not to forget to discuss with your students the story of Pentecost and the unrestrained and constant presence of the Holy Spirit with our students. This year the feast is late, June 8th.

The Spirit has been active from all time and will remain forever. The Breath of God sustaining us, permeates all that is, graces us with power and abilities totally foreign to our perception of ourselves, challenges and stretches us beyond what we thought we could withstand, enables us to accept ourselves as we are and to better realize God’s relentless love.

Throughout the Scriptures and all of salvation history we read of the Spirit’s productive presence. That creative power still leads and propels us to help bring about the Kingdom of God. Because of that everlasting reality God’s Son, Jesus, became man, lived, and died. As followers of Jesus today the Spirit of God motivates us to live lovingly, justly, and peacefully.

Pentecost is not only a feast celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles. It is ongoing in every confirmation ceremony, and in every empowering action of the Spirit upon God’s people. This is a most significant message for youth and adults today. It is a message of hope, courage, and authorization.

God calls and uses all of us, even the very young. Nelson Mandela wrote this appropriate prayer, "A New Day Dawning: Spiritual Yearnings and Sacred Possibilities," for the 1999 Gathering of the Parliament of the World’s Religions in South Africa.

Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’ Actually who are you not to be? You are a child of God; your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are born to manifest the glory of God within us. it is not just in some of us, it is in everyone, and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

May this Pentecost remind us of the permeating presence of the Holy Spirit, deepen our devotion and prayer, and help us discern a specific focus for our action on behalf of the poor, oppressed, and marginalized. 

You will find the The Spirit of God Prayer Service on our Parish Outreach page under the heading "Peace & Justice Liturgies."

Wishing you God’s love, peace, and refreshment,

Joyce M. Ruhaak




email us:  peace@dioceseofjoliet.org