Pentecost is such a special celebration for us all, as missionary disciples of Jesus Christ. It is the Spirit that urges us out on mission, to share with others the hope and joy we hold as followers of the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

The Spirit does not force us to do what we are not ready to do. The Spirit invites us, challenges us, dares us, to be missionary, but in the end, it is up to us to respond.

I would like to share the following refection I wrote some 20 years ago, just as I was preparing to go to South Africa as a Mill Hill Missionary.

The Eve of Pentecost in Daily Life

Be vigilant
Always lock your door
Report any suspicious behaviour
You cannot be too careful these days


Be careful
Keep off
Keep out
Keep away

Turn the key
Hear the lock click into place
Feel that little click within that says
Now I am safe

Slide the bolt across the door
And hear your breath slip out
So softly from deep down inside
Now I am secure

Close the window
And draw the curtains tightly shut
No one can see you now
No intrusion
No unwanted prying eyes

Now sit tight
With those you like
Or those you think like you
And say safe things
That won’t disturb
And challenge

Say nothing
in as many words as possible
and then nothing can be used against you

Close your eyes
No one can see into you now
And go down deep within you
And what do you find?

Is it dark?
Is there shaking within
Can you feel the fear filling the emptiness?
Is there self-absorption
So short on giving
So much to offer
All locked away
Gifts unseen
Gifts unknown
Gifts unused
Dreams yet undreamt
Visions yet to be seen


My inner landscape feels parched
I thirst for something more
A way out of the desert
A deeper meaning in life
Connection with mystery
Union with God


Will we let fear win?
Do we really want to be safe all the time?
Do we dare to allow something in our lives to change
Or rather be changed?
Do we believe it possible?
Or is it safer just to stay as we are?
And keep our faith hidden
A private matter
Mine and only mine

We have the keys
The bolts are on our side of the door
We are in control, aren’t we?


The Spirit is at the door
The Spirit is knocking
The Spirit will not leave
What are we going to do?
What are you going to do?
What am I going to do?

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