Pentecost, seen as the birthday of the Christian Church, is the culmination of Eastertide. It is the day when we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the start of the Church’s mission to the world – a mission to bring people to God. We hear of this in the Gospel, when the risen Jesus comes to the disciples in the locked room bringing peace. He shows them his wounds, encouraging them to believe that he is indeed risen from the dead, and sends them out.

In the First Reading the disciples receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, bringing them courage and the ability to speak different languages. Now they can reach out to all nations, telling the peoples about God.

The Psalm praises God’s greatness, celebrating all the riches and goodness that the Spirit freely gives to ‘renew the face of the earth’.

The Second Reading speaks of the gifts that God’s Spirit gives to each one of us. Working together in different ways towards a common aim, Paul compares us to a human body – each part working towards the well-being of the whole.

As we celebrate Pentecost and the birthday of the Church, we might like to reflect on the particular role that God has for each one of us. This week, I might ponder the contribution that I myself can make to the mission of the Church, and to all those around me.