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There are options for our second reading and gospel today. Yet still, the psalm provides us a key. The first option is from 1 Corinthians. Paul extols the way charismata--spiritual gifts--are to serve our becoming one body in Christ.


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Paul speaks of different gifts, different forms, different workings; but they are all inspired filled with breath by the Spirit. In our diversity, we all contribute to the convivencia--the living together--of the Body of Christ in mutual respect, honest encouragement, and transforming interaction in our diversity. Paul offers a vision of what the Spirit can do when we open ourselves to the inspiration of the Spirit.

We can become what we pray in the third Eucharistic Prayer, "one body, one spirit in Christ. In the letter to the Galatians, the second option, the Spirit sent to renew the face of the earth can guide us to love, joy, and peace.

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To follow the Spirit is indeed to collaborate to renew the face of the earth in the face of disunity, dissensions, and divisions. It is to move from self-centeredness to God-centeredness. The psalm is a key to our options from the Gospel of John. In John 20, the disciples hide in fear, having locked themselves in.

The Risen one inspires them--breathes on them the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Spirit is sent out to bring peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness. The gifts of peace, presence, and forgiveness blow open our locked doors of fear and hiding.

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The gift of the Spirit, the gift of peace and reconciliation, does not allow us stay in a locked room but sends us out through the doors that have been opened by Christ's presence. This Spirit of truth will guide us in the way of truth and testimony. The refrain is also a plea.


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In our sequence, Come, Holy Spirit Veni, Sancte Spiritus , we invoke powerful images of the Holy Spirit: Come ray of light; comfort; rest from our labor; coolness and consolation; solace in woe; healing; strength; washing, bending, and mending; melting the frozen and guiding the wayward.

We sing in the sequence: This is all joy that never ends! Our imaginations are filled with so many metaphors beyond just a bird that we might sometimes wish just stayed in a cage and not freed to set us on fire again. Lord, send out your Spirit! Renew the face of this battered world of ours. Set us on fire to confront the violence, discrimination, and strife all around us. Set us on fire to go out and speak to the racism that confronts our communities and our nation.

Set us on fire to console the sick and the dying who need the comfort of presence. Set us on fire to speak to the destruction of the earth we claim home. Set us on fire to leave our locked houses and have the courage to tell someone today, "Christ is risen from the dead, and it makes a difference! Associate Professor of Liturgy M. Richard McCarron received an M. He teaches in the areas of liturgical and sacramental theology, liturgical history, liturgy and culture, and catechesis.

She went on to say that human error and failure were to blame. Nor was it anything that could be collected into a bag or taken to any landfill. But I simply could not understand. A broken pipe or a problem with a valve—under the ocean? Why not call a plumbing ship, have them dive down, and just fix it? Mom said that our community and environment would pay a steep price.

Black smoke spiraled into the awful blueness of the horizon, and these plumes of smoke graced the newspapers that reported the oil spill across the country. More than million gallons of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico and for 87 days, the oil kept on gushing, gallon after gallon Biologicaldiversity. It could not be stopped. Television cameras would show it nightly, a black liquid river, all over the bottom of the ocean.

A spill was accidental and when something spilled, it got cleaned up. Dad threw a towel over my dinnertime spilled milk all the time. Deepwater Horizon- released pollutants were not being cleaned up and everybody was just arguing; their accident was human error, and the worst part was that the news was saying that the well had been leaking long before the explosion. And in less than a month, some of these turtles would be returning to Gulf Shores to lay eggs—it was their critical time—and the clean-up would have to be negotiated so their nests would not be disturbed ….

We abandoned Gulf Shores and stayed near Loxley. I got to know the lifeguards at the YMCA by name; I did not walk on squeaky white sands for a whole year … I made new friends and had sleepovers; my next birthday party, was at Hot Wheels, a local skating rink and not in the white sands. One year later, after the flags had changed back to green, my family and I did return to Gulf Shores for wading, swimming, sea-shelling, picnicking, and everything else. After lunch, I went through the contents of my bucket.

The curious round and gritty spheres mixed in with the shells were tar balls.

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Some were the size of a golf balls, and they smelled like a new asphalt road on a hot summer day. The stench lingered on my hands for hours, and later we dumped my bucket into a garbage can as we headed to the car.

It was weeks before we returned …. The hazmat gear guys had been up and down the beach with their equipment, hundreds of times, but the pollution, my mother told me, was completely opposite of the annual Coastal Clean-Up. Our volunteers arrived and conquered; the BP pollution, however, was hiding and it was everywhere. It was in Texas and on the rocks of Dauphin Island, Alabama; it was in the Louisiana marshlands and in the bodies of bluefin tuna; it was even in the eggs of the brown pelicans and of course, in the gross tar balls that I would be finding … for many more years.

Why do we look for God in a hurricane?

Crabs and fish washed up on the beaches of the five states involved; over 80, birds and 6, sea turtles were killed or injured epa. Stillborn dolphins and dead infant dolphins washed up on beaches. What happens in one place at one time can go everywhere. It does not just go away. Human polluting and littering is an ugly legacy that goes beyond being shocked by statistics or feeling good about filling up waste receptacles.

It is about rocks that look like rocks, pure white beach sands, pelicans gliding in the air, and dolphins racing in front of the boat in the open water. It is about ensuring the survival of all of this because people cannot live without these simple gifts from God. When bad things happen such as the unending hardships brought on by the oil spill, people get stronger.