Pentecost with its wind, tongues of fire, and forgiveness of sins comes across as personal and isolated. The Psalm carries the message into the whole cosmos. That Pentecost has a cosmic dimension is the theme for these Personal Notes.
Since I already translated
The Greek for verse one, when the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, means at the end of the day, rather than at the end of fifty days. That meaning for the translation may explain why depictions of the division of tongues of fire appear in the evening.
As an individual day Pentecost, itself, is a cosmic event, one rotation of the globe. Noise coming from the sky or heaven in verse 2 also depicts a cosmic event. The Greek for in the house connotes a place where rather than a confined space in which. The noise was not confined simply to the house; the house, however, was the place where the cosmic noise was heard.
Verse 5 and following has cosmic relevance. First, only Jews witness the disciples
speaking each in his native language
(verse 8). The Gospel must first be
preached to the Jews. However, these
Jews are a special group, from a plethora of at least fifteen places in the
known world. Travelers from Rome, carries the Greek sense of visitors, people living in
Verse 6, they were confused, is, itself confusing. From the Greek, the sense is bewildered. Not knowing what to make of it is clearer. When contemporaries try to wrap their minds around cosmic reality, confusion resounds. The 104th psalmist helps clarify the relationship between God and cosmic reality.
Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
The Lectionary uses this Psalm as follows.
Lectionary Verses used
21C 135-136 1b-2, 3-4, 24-25, 27-28, 29-30 (1) Baptism Cycle C
41A 318-319 1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24,
35 (30) Easter Cycle A
62ABC 475 1-2, 24,
35, 27-28, 29, 30
(cf. 30) Pentecost Vigil
63A 480 1, 24, 29-30
31, 34 (1) Today
The readings for the Psalm are also available in these Personal Notes for the The Baptism of the Lord, January 11, 2003. As previously written, this is one of the royal Psalms, echoing salvation history. In secular society, royalty of the people means human rights, including a right to privacy and a right to equal pay for equal work or non-discrimination. Rights of the people are compatible with the fear of the Lord.
The idea that God is robed in light has special meaning for Poor Clares, who themselves are robes of light for the societies in which they live and pray.
Within the context of this royal psalm, verse 24, manifold are your works, O LORD! has a cosmic dimension. This psalm ties Pentecost with the cosmos itself. The activity of God is not limited to individual Faithful or the Chosen People. Rather, the activity of God is cosmic in nature. 1 Corinthians is about completely enveloping the human race in the loving embrace of God.
1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13
This reading is about the Mystical Body of Christ. For many of the Faithful, what this means is a difficulty not found in these Notes. The Faithful do live the life of Christ. This life of grace is sufficiently evident for the Faithful to enjoy. The Spirit blows where it will and in this sense, the diversity within the Catholic Church can thrill rather than distract the Faithful. The full view of what God is doing looking out onto the cosmos is similar to looking into the Church. Both directions can astound the Faithful. Most of all the Faithful can remain astounded at grace within their own souls.
Pastoral Care of the Sick uses 1 Corinthians 12:12-22, 24b-27 for New Testament Readings during the Easter Season. In this spirit, the Faithful are free to pray for a variety of daily special intentions, with no doubt that God hears their prayers.
The Lectionary uses this passage from the Book of Glory (13:1—) more than any other Gospel text: The Second Sunday of Easter 41ABC and Pentecost 63ABC.
Verse 1, that first
day of the week, is evidence of Aramaic rather than Greek influence.
Aramaic would have been the tongue of
The theme of these Personal Notes is the cosmic relationship between the Feast of Pentecost and the cosmos. Acts tells of the sound coming from heaven above. Psalm 104 is about God, the ruler of the universe, not only planet earth. 1 Corinthians extends Christianity from the Chosen People to all people. The Gospel, when taken within the context of the general violence found within the cosmos, does have a cosmic dimension by granting peace to the Faithful.
For more on sources, besides the footnotes, see the Appendix file.
 Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599 180.
 International Commission on English in the Liturgy: A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and Published by Authority of Pope Paul VI: Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum: Approved for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1983) 269.