Scripture Notes – Pentecost Sunday – 23rd May 2021



Hearers of the Word: They were all filled with the Holy Spirit


Pentecost is our great feast, the climax of the festal cycle which began on the first Sunday of Advent. The lectionary offers readings for the feast (Saturday evening and Sunday) as well as texts for an extended Pentecost Vigil. Counting alternatives, there are no fewer the twelve different readings, reflecting the richness of the celebration.

As we know from the history of the church, Pentecost is not a once-off event but happens again and again down the centuries. In the Irish church, the National Synod in two years time has the potential of being a new Pentecost for us all. It all depends…Come, Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of your faithful.

The Tarsus Scripture School is offering a free programme for the feast. In fact, in stead of my usual “Gospel exploration”, I’m inviting people to go to the Pentecost programme — register and enjoy it. The Ecumenical Bible Week programme has an excellent line-up of events and speakers.

Some musical inspiration

Finally, there is wonderful music for the feast — the classical Veni Creator or the Veni Sancte Spiritus.

Hildegard of Bingen wrote some thrillingly beautiful songs to the Holy Spirit. One is called: Spirit Sanctus / Holy Spirit.

Here is one of her prayers:

Holy Spirit, giving life to all life, moving all creatures, root of all things, washing them clean, wiping out their mistakes, healing their wounds, you are our true life, luminous, wonderful, awakening the heart from its ancient sleep.

The Readings

  • Full notes (PDF)
  • Gospel notes (Audio)
  • Gospel notes (Portable)
  • Extra Gospel exploration: Go to TSS below.

Tarsus Scripture School: Pentecost 2021

This programme is offered free of charge as a “thank you” all of you.

  • “Babel to Jerusalem and beyond: Acts 2:1-11” (Jessie Rogers)
  • “There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit: 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13” (Kieran J. O’Mahony)
  • “Breathing new life: John 20:19-23” (Sean Goan)

To explore and register, click here or on the image below.

Ecumenical Bible Week 2021

The Ecumenical Bible week is an exciting venture, arising out of the International Eucharistic Congress of 2012. The programme is funded by the two Archdioceses of Dublin and the National Bible Society of Ireland. The programme is offered free of charge. Anyone who likes to may also make a donation to support the project.

This year, we are especially happy with the programme — all online as happened last year. As we “emerge” slowly from the pandemic, we are wondering about how it will be for us, as Christian believers and church members. To explore and register, click here or on the image below.