Pentecost: Prayer, Unity and Mission

Author: Alex Heath

Picture:Max Pixel

Pentecost: Prayer, Unity and Mission

The Book of Acts tells us Pentecost did not take place in a vacuum. When the day of Pentecost came, the disciples were all together, gathered in prayer. There was a definite context for this great world-changing event: a community of believing disciples at prayer. 

In the lead up to Pentecost 2017, the 6 Presidents of Churches Together in England have issued a statement of encouragement to us all to pray, which can be read here. This is a great witness to unity, one of the greatest fruits of Pentecost.

One In Heart And Mind

We recall that, not long before Jesus' death and resurrection, the disciples had been squabbling about who was the greatest. As a result of Pentecost, all of this changed. Suddenly "all the believers were one in heart and mind." (Acts 4:32).  Their hearts and minds were forged together as one in the furnace of the Spirit's fire.

For Catholic Charismatic Renewal, a profound commitment to ecumenism is, and always has been, central.

As we prepare to celebrate Pentecost, it is vitally important we have this at the forefront of our minds and hearts. The Thy Kingdom Come initiative can help us as we seek to put this into practice. Some great resources are available on the website, which can be accessed here.

New Pentecost, New Evangelisation

In my own Diocese of Northampton, through the work of our Diocesan Evangelisation Team, we have produced a range of free and ready to use resources to help individuals, families, prayer groups, schools and parishes to pray in the run up to Pentecost. These can be found here.

Just as the first Pentecost led to the birth of the mission of the Church, we trust that a new Pentecost will provide the grace and power for a new evangelisation.

No matter which resources we may use, we must pray, be open to the work of the Spirit and be ready to receive graces of unity and mission that the Lord will abundantly bestow, if we have expectant faith.

Living Pentecost

At Pentecost this year in Rome, Pope Francis will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Catholic Charismatic Renewal with delegates from all over the world.

They will gather in prayer, just like those first disciples, as one with brothers and sisters from various Christian traditions. They will receive the Spirit anew to be sent out as Spirit-filled evangelisers.

My wife will be going with a wonderful brother in the Lord from a local Baptist Church.

This brother lives Pentecost. He has a great heart for Christian unity in our town and regularly prays in other churches. He organises a regular street outreach in Northampton with other Christians to share the joy of the Gospel. I see Pentecost in his life.

Prayer, unity and mission are graces freely available to us all, in the Name of Jesus and in the power of Pentecost. 

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