Pentecost Sunday 4.6.17 History
Our Lord once lamented the fate of Jerusalem (Lk 19,41-44). If only they had realised the true position, and believed in Him. then they would be spared the destruction which was building up over them.
So much depends on human response as to whether a situation will get better or worse.
History is full of situations where we could say: if only this had happened instead of that. A certain battle, or choice of king, or revolution - might have happened or not happened as we would want.
The way the Church has gone over the last 2000 years is a case in point. We have a very mixed report card.
We started well – at this first Pentecost. For a brief time there was complete unity in the Church, and miracles galore.
But soon the trouble started, and there were people teaching false doctrines, people looking out for themselves first; and just plain old sin. The Church experienced division, and the weakness that follows from that.
Since then we have had good and bad times. We have never managed to recapture that first blissful time of Pentecost.
We should have done better than we have done. If only… if only more people had prayed; if only they would pray now. Our Lord must weep now as He looks over the world, and sees the disasters which must come if there is not some wide-scale repentance.
God is so much disobeyed, denied, ignored. People try to bury Him altogether. All this is increasingly blatant. People used to be ashamed of their sins. Not now!
Why have we not made more progress? Each generation should learn from the mistakes of previous ones, but it seems they do not, even getting worse in some cases. We are slow to learn.
No matter how many disasters, it seems people will continue to rebel against God, and even use those disasters as ‘proof’ there is no God (according to them)!
Here we come in, and say like the prophets of old: Behold your God! He has not gone away; His arm is not shortened. He is the same God who came down on the apostles at Pentecost.
He has all the same love, goodness, power, as ever. And He is just as willing now as then to transform us in faith, hope and charity.
This is our time. We are the people alive at the present moment. It is up to us to turn the ‘if only’ into reality.
If they look back on us in the year 2017 they will see disciples of Christ who were willing to pray with real perseverance and intensity, as at the first Pentecost.
We need more on deck, more prayer, more faith, more fervour.
We are very much in the minority at the moment. Minority in two senses: that most people in the world do not believe in the true God. And that even many who profess faith have only very faint belief, and are not contributing at present.
What massive potential for good there is if this sleeping majority of Catholics would awaken?
Well, we are awake, and we must pray, like never before.
Even one person praying can achieve much (eg Moses saving Israel from destruction in the desert because of its disobedience eg Ex 32,30-33).
We must pray then, alone, with others, with the whole Church, for a lot of saving that needs to happen.
We pray that the hearts and minds of many will be turned to the one true God, and all that follows from that. This will avert the disasters which threaten us, and bring us salvation – now and in eternity.
Come Holy Ghost!