Thursday, May 28, 2020

Pentecost Homily by Beverly Bingle RCWP, Article on Excommunication from CDF/Vatican

Response: See inspirational homily by Beverly Bingle RCWP and recent news of her excommunication by the Vatican.
Let us affirm our Sister's prophetic obedience to the Spirit in our RCWP movement to renew the Church by living the inclusive teachings of Jesus in the Gospels. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

Vatican excommunicates local woman priest; Toledo Bishop Daniel Thomas warns against affiliation

Beverly Bingle RCWP- Pentecost Homily

In the midst of a virus that is, as one of my friends puts it,

“not only dangerous, but sneaky,”

lots of people have turned to electronic substitutes

for our closed churches.

This weekend some people are going to get together physically

even though they know it’s a risk to health and life,

especially for people over 60

or with a compromised immune system.

Here at Holy Spirit, we looked at what Jesus said and did

and what our Catholic Church has practiced

at various times and under various circumstances

over 2,000 years,

and we found another way.

We continue to gather each week

by praying the Mass in our own homes,

house churches miles apart in PHYSICAL distance

but up close and personal in SPIRITUAL distance.

In doing that,

we follow the example of the earliest followers of Jesus.

They had been afraid,

but they experienced the Spirit among them,

so they celebrated Sunday evening meals in their homes

with prayer led by one of the family

and sharing the bread and wine that they blessed.

On top of that early history,

in our lifetimes we have seen a movement

in our Catholic Church

from the “pray-pay-obey” model of the Council of Trent

to the teachings of Vatican II:

that we are—each and every one of us—

responsible as priest, as prophet, and as servant leader

(John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis);

and that our “full, conscious, and active participation”

in the Mass is “to be considered before all else”

(Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium).


Jesus wasn’t one to obey rules that didn’t make sense.

He was a protester, a crusader for justice.

According to Biblical scholar Bruce Chilton,

Jesus’ own practice of table fellowship was

a protest against the Roman overlords

and the Temple authorities who were in collusion with them.

The guardians of those institutions wanted to hold on to the power

to say who was okay with God and who wasn’t,

the power to say what was okay with God and what wasn’t.

They thought that killing Jesus was the only way

to put a stop to the idea that God is in charge, not them.

So they crucified him.

And his followers denied him and ran away and hid… for a while.

Then, over a period of time after the crucifixion,

the disciples began to gather and remember

and share their memories and experiences.


We celebrate today as “Pentecost”

because it’s fifty days since Passover,

when the disciples experienced

the presence of the Spirit of God

while they were celebrating

their Jewish tradition of the “feast of weeks.”

Today’s readings give us a story

of how Jesus’ disciples came out of hiding

to carry his message “to the ends of the earth.”

Luke, in the Acts of the Apostles, tells a mystic, symbolic story

of the “violent, rushing wind from heaven,”

that same breath of God that formed the earth.

John uses that same symbolism,

showing Jesus BREATHING on the disciples

giving them the Holy Spirit,

sending them, and us, as God sent him.

That breath—the Hebrew word ruah, the Greek word pneuma,

the Latin word spiritus—all mean, as Dr. John Pilch points out,

“air in motion,” “breath,” and “wind,”

and the root meaning is “power,” the power of God.

So Jesus breathes into them the ruah, the pneuma, the spiritus,

the POWER of God,

and his followers understood

that they were empowered by the spirit of God—the Holy Spirit.

That Pentecost power—the very breath of God—is in each of us,

breathed into us at birth,

acknowledged in our baptism,

confirmed in us each time we go about doing good.


Back in March, about the time

that the pandemic was just reaching Ohio,

Pope Francis characterized the worldwide trauma

as "God's call on people to judge

what is most important to them

and resolve to act accordingly from now on."

We decided that life is important,

so we’ve been staying home.

We decided that our faith is important,

so we do all we can to help people who are suffering.

And we remember that Jesus told us to do what he did,

so we pray the Mass, each of us at home,

intentionally joining our prayers

with the prayers of all the others sitting at their kitchen tables

with the bread and the wine

that become for us the body and blood of Christ.

The Spirit of God is upon us!


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