Tarsus Scripture School: Pentecost 2021

Apr 25, 2021 | 6 comments

Come, Holy Spirit!

Pentecost is the climax of the faith year and yet somehow it can feel under-celebrated. What could be more important than the gift and the call to bring the Good News to the whole world? Your attention is drawn to two programmes which may inspire and excite.

The first is a free programme from Tarsus Scripture School. We want to say “thank you” to all of you. There will be three recorded talks and a meditation, following your enthusiastic reaction to the Holy Week / Easter meditation. The second is also a free programme from the Ecumenical Bible Week.

Tarsus Scripture School: Pentecost 2021

  • “Babel to Jerusalem and beyond: Acts 2:1-11” (Jessie Rogers)
  • “There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit: 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13” (Kieran J. O’Mahony)
  • “Breathing new life: John 20:19-23” (Sean Goan)

To explore and register, click here or on the image below.


  1. Soline Humbert

    This seems like a very worthwhile initiative, but I do regret that the art work used to represent the Pentecost event limits it to the Twelve and Mary, thereby perpetuating the long standing erasure of the wider group of disciples, especially the women who were present and also received the Holy Spirit, as Acts ( 1:14,2:1-3) tell us ”When the day of Pentecost came,they were ALL TOGETHER in one place.
    Iconography does matter. Images often work at the unconscious level, and have contributed in no small way to the continued marginalisation and invisibility of women in official church structures and culture.

    • soconaill

      I agree completely, Soline – especially given Pope Francis’s promotion of the expectation of a New Pentecost when in Dublin in 2018 – and the dismal prospect that awaited our generation when confirmed in the 1950s. To be told one is a Temple of the Holy Spirit is one thing, at the age of ten or eleven. To be treated thereafter as though there was never the remotest possibility that one might ever have anything interesting to say about that was something else entirely. The silent curriculum of formal Irish Catholic education was devastatingly effective in convincing us that the Holy Spirit had nothing whatever to say to our generation – because only bishops could ‘inform’ our consciences. They were the unfailing ‘speakers’ for the Holy Spirit, so shut up and listen. There was never a more effective guarantee of the triumph of practical atheism, once the scandals came like successive tidal waves, from 1992.

      “Each new day in the life of our families, and each new generation, brings the promise of a new Pentecost, a domestic Pentecost, a fresh outpouring of the Spirit, the Paraclete, whom Jesus sends as our Advocate, our Consoler and indeed our Encourager.” Pope Francis, Dublin, August 26th 2018.

  2. Kevin Walters

    At Pentecost, The Spirit of God inspires the Apostles and sends them on their mission; while all the Baptized are asked to do the same. As those who receive the Holy Spirit are also empowered to give witness to Jesus Christ in the world, while He the Holy Spirit sanctifies our hearts in creating a dwelling place for Himself (The Divine Presence) to reside within us.

    After the Crucifixion in the Upper Room, we see those who had traveled the road of enlightenment/self-realization with Jesus (The Word Made Flesh) hide in fear of the Jewish leadership, while now knowing the full reality of their brokenness (Betrayal and cowardice) before our Father in heaven. It could be said that their hearts were now readied to receive The Holy Spirit as a humble heart is His dwelling place, as in

    “I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid”

    Prior to Pentecost, we see Man’s understanding of the righteousness of God manifest by Prophets, such as in Elijah’s murderous blood bath of the vile prophets of Baal, with all their wives and innocent children. He then hides in fear because “I have been very zealous (Ruthless) for the Lord” Similar to St Paul’s zealous murderous persecution of Christians, while James and his brother John wanted to call down fire on a Samaritan town; they were rebuked by Jesus. Prior to this rebuke, Jesus called James and John, Boanerges, which meant “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17) – probably a reference to the positive side of their bold and zealous personalities.

    A Personal understanding of 1 Kings 19:11-12

    A wind there was (of Pride), rude and boisterous, that shook the mountains (Heavens) and broke the rocks (Holy precepts) in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not to be found in the wind (of my bluster). Nor in the storm (High expectations of life) and earthquake (Of self-made foundations/delusions) leading to the Fire (of suffering/Reality of the selfhood) and after the fire, the whisper of a gentle (Uplifting) breeze

    For men of good intent on the Worldly plain It is natural to want to prevail over evil (especially in others) to call to account and punish those who do evil, this desire comes from a worldly feeling of self-righteousness but as seen by Elijah’s inspired self-realization, God is known through His gentleness, as in a gentle breeze.

    Jesus says “Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart”

    So, the battle has to be fought on the Spiritual Plane if it is to bear lasting fruit, we do this when we walk with the Holy Spirit in humility. (St Bernard, Humility; a virtue by which a man knowing himself as he truly is, abases him-self).

    At Pentecost, we see the Holy Spirit descend and then separate onto the Apostles conferring within them (and now to those who serve Him) the power of Truth. The Truth bears witness to Itself and needs no embellishment, as those who are of the truth hear His voice. It could be said that authority comes with Truth and those who serve It. (As manifest in a humble heart).

    The Lord was not to be found in the wind nor in the storm. So, mankind needs to see the light of the Holy Spirit dwelling/working within us, as only a humble Priesthood/Church can lead mankind away from evil, as a humble heart (Church) will never cover its tracks or hide its shortcomings, and in doing so confers authenticity (Holiness), as it walks in its own vulnerability/weakness/brokenness in trust/faith before God and mankind. It is a heart (Church) to be trusted, as it ‘dispels’ darkness within its own ego/self, in serving God (Truth/Love) first, before any other as the Holy Spirit (Divine Presence) cannot dwell in an untruthful heart as “The Truth” will not permit evil to hide itself. We are ALL sinners but to be honest with ourselves and others permits us to walk in humility (friendship) with the Holy Spirit, where no deception or lie is tolerated within ourselves or between each other.

    Christ reveals that the Holy Spirit will “convince the ‘unbelieving’ world of sin, and of justice and of judgment;” he will “teach…all truth;” and will “glorify” Christ.

    Words of condemnation have their place, but it is the whisper of a gentle breeze’ bearing witness to the Truth, in a humble heart, which glorifies God as it permits others to see and believe in His merciful gentle ‘living’ Face/heart, while leading others to contemplate/know/follow Him in humility also.

    “Father forgive them they know not what they do”

    Here we see His understanding of the human heart and the compassion that He had for all of mankind. Reflected in Isaiah
    42:3 “He won’t break off a bent reed or put out a dying flame, but he will make sure that justice is done”

    There is no self-righteous anger, rather a call for mercy and insightfulness for all those sinners who dwell in darkness. Which was manifest in His total self-giving on the Cross, for all men.
    As with the Centurion who stood facing Him as He hung on the Cross “The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them, a light has dawned” The divine spark had been ignited within the Centurion, a new understanding had commenced as he exclaimed, “This man was indeed God’s Son.”

    We can look to St Mother Teresa as a modern-day example of Christian Charity in the way she spread the Gospel through works of charity and her confrontation with a fallen sinful world. In her confrontation with the promotors of abortion (The Clintons), it was not in a ranting emotional bluster, driven by self-righteous indignation. See the link


    An extract from the article given via the link, the parts highlighted in bold text emanate from a gentle humble (Loving) heart, which is what my post is all about.

    “This was not the end of the relationship, which Hillary has always looked back upon with fondness. In the short time she had left on earth, Mother Teresa continued to try to change Clinton’s view on abortion. According to Hillary, “she sent me dozens of notes and messages with the same gentle entreaty. She dealt with the first lady with patience and kindness, but firm conviction: “Mother Teresa never lectured or scolded me; her admonitions were always loving and heartfelt,” wrote Hillary, adding that she had “the greatest respect for her opposition to abortion.” Mother Teresa saw in Hillary a potentially huge convert to the pro-life cause, and never gave up, but to no avail”

    I take umbrage with the statement “to no avail as only God knows the full long-term effects that her firm conviction and the persistent actions of Mother Teresa will have had on Hilary Clinton and those around her, as those who walk with Holy Spirit, produce good fruit, the seeds of which are often sown unseen within human hearts, at the time of their encounter with Him.

    Mother Teresa will have known this and trusted in the workings of the Holy Spirit knowing that all enlightenment comes from God and because of this she would not have been driven to distraction or bitterness as the peace that He gives to His true Disciples, cannot be taken from them.

    It could be said that these actions by Mother Teresa spring from “a gentle breeze” living ( Dwelling ) within her loving humble heart.

    “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa

    Father! with tongue and flame give us unity again.
    kevin your brother
    In Christ

    • Kevin Walters

      Addendum to my post above
      “The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

      In past times a Quickening (The first known movement of the fetus within the uterus) was an acceptance of a new life (Creation). Those born anew of the Holy Spirit do not fully understand the time and place (Whereof) of that birth as initially He enlightens our minds with the ‘sound’ of His living Word given within the Gospels (True knowledge of God) while quickening/moving our hearts into obedient, truthful tender compassionate ones as we are gradually been transformed into a New Creation.

      While the Holy Spirit prompts us to cry out Father! With His beloved Son as His Holy Spirit inspired/gave His Beloved Son the pray which glorifies His Name as we are taught to say in Unity of Purpose.

      “Our Father, who art in heaven
      Hallowed be thy name
      thy kingdom (Grace via The Holy Spirit) come (Then)
      thy will, (Will) be done,
      on earth as it is in heaven….etc

      While we can reflect on these Words “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, (Spirit) living in me, who is doing his work”

      kevin your brother
      In Christ

  3. Joseph O’Boyle

    Kevin, thank you for pointing out the gentle breeze, which carries the enlightening seeds everywhere of Christ Gentle Jesus and the Holy Spirit, sent for us, in your heart to heart catechesis, which dispels my anger, my up to now impenetrable brick wall about abortion and how to proceed. Our witness will be the drip that wears the stony ground, where these seeds fall and to pick up the pieces with compassion, endurance and persistence, mindful of the words “…while we were yet sinners” and most importantly of all, in the prayerful confident manner of St Mother Teresa.

    • Kevin Walters

      Thank you, Joseph, for your insightful comment. Mother Teresa would possibly have reflected upon these words then she prayed for Hilary Clinton to have a change of heart “And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will remain–so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you” (The Power of our Faith).

      Which is reflected in your statement “and most importantly of all, in the prayerful confident manner of St Mother Teresa” .

      Prayer (Contemplation) comes before action but nevertheless, they are intertwined.

      We see this in St Mother Teresa, who (I have read) instructed her sisters to leave those in their care, at set times of prayer, unattended. When confronted with this action, her words were, to the effect of, that they, the patients, would be drawn into that contemplation (Prayer) also. What a wonderful example and teacher she was/is, as she gave them “the better part” also.

      It would be good if our prayers now in the present moment were attached confidently to hers, as mine are, for if Hilary Clinton changes direction (Repented), it would influence so many others to reconsider their stance on abortion.

      kevin your brother
      In Christ


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