Monday, June 13, 2011
the short season of Pentecost
I began to wonder yesterday if the Church is missing an opportunity in the way it treats Pentecost. It is the third most important festival day of the Church, and yet it is hard to see how that is made manifest. My own experience of church attendances is that they tend to be average at best on that day - in fact often below average. Nothing like the swelling of numbers that occurs for Christmas and Easter. They, of course, get a season afterwards to emphasise their importance. What does Pentecost get? The day itself. There were stark words inscribed in the lectionary for today, the day after Pentecost: ordinary time begins. I suppose Pentecost suffers by its proximity to Easter; on the other hand, we don't curtail Lent or Easter anyway when they occur early in the year and they fall hard on the heels of Christmas as happened this year.
Pentecost is the time when we remember the birth of the Church and is potentially an opportunity for a time for great spiritual renewal. Perhaps the time has come to mark this major feast of the Church with a little more than just a season that lasts a day.
today's gospel reading is Matthew 5.38-42