Today’s reflection is from Fr. Michael Schleupner. He will be serving as a spiritual director this August during our Directed Retreat. If you’d like to learn more about Fr. Michael or the retreat, please click here. He offered this reflection last Sunday for Pentecost and it speaks to the compassion that our world needs so much right now. Please prayerfully reflect with us.pentecost

The Feast of Pentecost 
Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Our words are very important. They have an effect on us and to some extent, they form us as persons.

Our words also have an effect on others. They may lead others to feel esteemed or worthless, or to become angry or compassionate.

And our words have an effect on our relationship with God.

So, my concern is that we need to be intentional about our use of words. As the saying goes, we need to think before we speak. With this in mind, I see two simple rules as important for the kinds of words we are to use and not use.

First, use words that are affirming and not belittling. Lifting up the good qualities of others.
This will move them to continue to grow and become the best persons they can be. Don’t belittle others and make them feel and appear as no good.

Second, use words that are unitive and not divisive. Speak about the values or practices that you share in common with others. This will strengthen relationships and community. Don’t say things that divide yourself from others and destroy bondedness that can be there.

On this Feast of Pentecost, we hear about the Holy Spirit coming down upon Jesus’ disciples. There is a miracle of language. People who spoke many different languages understand what the disciples are saying. That was the effect of the Holy Spirit.

So, my idea is that when we use words that are affirming and unitive, God the Holy Spirit is flowing through us. This is a language that everyone can receive and understand, regardless of their native tongue.

And the results will be much like what we hear Saint Paul describing today. We will be one, one body, in one Spirit – one, regardless of differences.

~Father Michael Schleupner