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Seven Days, Seven Pages: Celebrating the Saint John’s Bible & the Papal Visit to the U.S. – Day 7

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In celebration of Pope Francis's upcoming visit to the U.S., the Department of Archives & Special Collections at LMU's William H. Hannon Library invites you to view its copy of the Saint John's Bible on display for seven days: Monday, September 21 – Sunday, September 27, 2015. This Department is open to the public and all are welcome.

In conjunction with this celebration, seven images from the Saint John's Bible and seven reflective essays will be published on this blog for seven days: Monday, September 21 – Sunday, September 28, 2015. 

Day 7 - Pentecost

(Pentecost, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville,Minnesota USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)

Illuminating the Mission

Day Seven • Page Seven: Pentecost Reflection

Rachel Gabelman, M.Div Candidate

This illumination of Pentecost elicits a heightened sense of vitality. Notice the sharp tongues of fire that starkly contrast the free-flowing brushstrokes. To gaze upon the prominent gold band, which breaks through the cool colors in the atmosphere, is unsettling. This visual representation mimics how startling it can be when the Spirit enters into our hearts, dynamically transforming us, bestowing his creative energy upon us, and sending us out to evangelize all peoples. It is neither an easy nor predictable endeavor, but when we partner with the Spirit, we will be “amazed and astonished” (Acts 2:7) at what is possible. As Christians, we must always refer back to the moments of personal conversion in our lives so that our willingness to evangelize does not become stagnant. We must trust that the Spirit will give us the ability to draw others into the richness and fullness of human life and promote the restoration of peoples in unity with one another and with God.

Pope Francis teaches in Evangelii Gaudium that the Church grows through attraction when Christians “appear as people who wish to share their joy, who point to a horizon of beauty and who invite others to a delicious banquet” (15). He furthers his point when he exclaims that Christians must not appear to have just returned from a funeral (10). Perhaps instead we can imagine proclaiming the Good News to others utilizing the enthusiasm and vigor that we often witness in sports fans. In this illumination we see fans raising their arms and waving their flags at a Saint John’s University football game. Parallel to the way that the fans’ enthusiasm is contagious, our spirited fervor for Christ increases the fervor in the lives of those around us. The Good News is not ancient history; it is alive and personal as well as communal. What experiences from your life and journey in faith can you recollect and renew so that all who encounter you will witness the glory and splendor of the Risen Lord?