Sunday, 5 June 2022 : Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday is the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday marking the fiftieth and the last day of the entire glorious and joyous season of Easter. The celebration of the Pentecost had its roots in the Jewish custom, in which fifty days after the celebration of the Jewish Passover, the Festival of the Pentecost is celebrated, and hence, a lot of people were assembled in Jerusalem for that occasion, coming from different countries, likely both the Jewish people and diaspora who lived in those places as well as some others who were attracted to the celebrations that were happening in Jerusalem.

In our first reading today from the Acts of the Apostles we heard the account of how on the Festival of the Pentecost, fifty days after Our Lord’s glorious Resurrection, the Holy Spirit came down upon all the disciples who were assembled and in hiding from the Jewish authorities, Mary, the Twelve Apostles and the other disciples who were there in the same room and place. The Holy Spirit came down like tongues of fire, resting on each of the disciples and gave them all the strength, courage and power to proclaim the Lord and His truth to all the people they encountered, beginning with those who came to Jerusalem for the festival of Pentecost.

This is a fulfilment of what the Lord has always promised His followers, that He would send them the Holy Spirit, the Helper and Advocate Who would strengthen them and give them the courage and power to do the will of God and to carry on what He had entrusted to them to do in this world. When He ascended into Heaven, the Lord promised that the Holy Spirit would come and help His disciples, and that they ought to wait in Jerusalem and pray. True enough then, that about ten days after the Lord ascended into Heaven, on the Pentecost celebrations, the Holy Spirit came down on the disciples.

Pentecost Sunday does not only mark the fiftieth day of Easter and the final day of that joyous season. It is also according to tradition, the ‘birthday of the Church’ as it was on that day that the Church became tangible, visible and apparent to the world. Before that moment, the disciples were all hiding in fear but afterwards, they courageously went forth and proclaimed the Word of God to the masses without fear anymore. That was the moment when the Church began its mission of evangelisation, reaching out to the world, to more and more people so that more may come to know the Lord and be saved through finding out the truth.

Pentecost is the day when the Church of God began its ministry to the world, when the Body of Christ, that is the Church, became visible to all and began calling on all to turn towards the Lord and to believe in Him as their Lord and Saviour. This is all possible because of the wisdom and strength bestowed on the Apostles through the Holy Spirit. Before that, the disciples were all lacking confidence and the drive to do the mission they have been entrusted with, and many among them were also illiterate and uneducated, hence explaining even more why they were hesitant to make themselves shown prior to the Pentecost.

The Holy Spirit gave them all the gifts of wisdom and knowledge, of faith and hope, of strength and courage, allowing them to do everything that we now know as the amazing things that the Apostles and the saints had done, only some of which were recorded in the Acts of the Apostles and the rest of the New Testament. Through the Holy Spirit, the Lord guided His faithful disciples who embarked on the journey of faith to proclaim His truth to the nations, to the many people they visited and lived with, and they spoke of the Lord and His love openly and without fear, guided by the strength, wisdom and passion that came from the Holy Spirit inflaming their hearts and minds.

They all went to proclaim the truth of the Lord, revealing the generous love which God has shown us, and they lived according to the Lord’s commandments of love, as mentioned in our Gospel passage today. They loved the Lord most wholeheartedly and at the same time, they also showed the same love towards their fellow brothers and sisters, to all man equally and without discrimination, be it Jews, Greeks, Romans, Persians or any other people. They loved them all as fellow children of God, and it was this love, together with the wisdom that God has shown them through the Holy Spirit, which made the Christian faith so popular among the people, and many decided to believe in God.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, we must realise that the works of the Church and the Lord have not yet been completed but instead are still ongoing this very moment. There are still a lot of areas and opportunities for the Church and the faithful to reach out to those who have not yet known the Lord and to all those who have lapsed in their faith. There are still many parts of the world and many communities who have lived in ignorance of the Lord’s truth, and it is we as Christians who have the responsibility and calling to bear the truth of God, His love and hope, His compassion and mercy, His path and light to those who have not yet known Him.

We are all called as Christians to continue the great and wonderful works that our predecessors, the Apostles, the innumerable saints and martyrs, and many others who had faithfully obeyed the Lord’s commandments and laws, following His will and doing His good works in this world. Through baptism all of us have become part of the Church and received the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that the Apostles and disciples of the Lord had received. And many of us have also received the Sacrament of Confirmation, in which after period of preparation and prayer, we have been affirmed in faith and received a more complete gift of the Holy Spirit.

What are these gifts of the Holy Spirit, brothers and sisters in Christ? The Church teaches us that there are seven gifts of the Holy Spirits. Those gifts are the gifts of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord. Each of these gifts are related to the seven Virtues of our Christian faith, namely Charity or Love, Faith, Prudence, Courage, Hope, Justice and Temperance. All these gifts have been given to us, to strengthen us and to help us in how we live our lives, so that each and every one of us can become great role models and inspirations for one another, to encourage and help each other on our way to the Lord and His salvation.

Through Wisdom and Understanding we have all been given the clarity and ability to appreciate the depth of the truth of God, the knowledge of God’s love and His laws, His commandments and ways, understanding the ways of the Church and its practices, and how to explain it to others, and to discern carefully the path that we are to choose in life. While through Counsel and Fortitude, we are brought to the ability to resist the temptations to sin, the ability to consider carefully what each of our actions will lead us to, and how to stand up for things that are right, in defending our faith and the actions that are just against the wickedness of this world, against the temptations to sin.

The gift of Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord then allows us to know more about God and to get ourselves closer to Him, allowing us to love Him ever deeper and more, desiring to be ever closer to Him, and by knowing more of the great infinity and boundlessness of God’s Almighty power and majesty, we may grow to fear Him more, not because we are afraid of Him, but because we know well what it means for us to reject and abandon Him and His path, falling into the depth of sin and eventually hell, out of which there is no escape and no hope of salvation. Hence, we will strive to get ever closer to God and avoid doing things that are against God and His will.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have received those wonderful gifts from God through the Holy Spirit, as well as other abilities, talents and opportunities that are distinct for each and every one of us. However, if we do not open our hearts and minds, and embracing those gifts and talents, opportunities and all presented to us by the Lord, then all those gifts would have been naught and useless for us. We have to embrace the Lord and His gifts for us, the Holy Spirit and all of His blessings and do our best to make use of them for the purpose that He has revealed to us. Otherwise, we are not doing what the Lord has commanded us to do, to be the disciples that go forth to the world, to proclaim His truth before all mankind and calling them all to His presence.

Today, this Pentecost Sunday, as we celebrate this joyous celebration of the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Church of God, and the birthday and beginning of the Church, let us all discern carefully our respective calling in life. Are we all doing what we can in answering God’s call, His call for us to make good use of the talents, gifts, abilities and opportunities that He had provided to us? Each one of us as Christians have been given different sets of skills, talents, gifts and blessings, and have various vocations and calling in life. Are we willing to do what we can, within our means and within the capacity that God has provided us, to do His will and to live our lives virtuously and faithfully as good and devoted Christians?

Let us all hence commit ourselves anew to the Lord this day, and remind ourselves that Pentecost is not there to mark the end of the season of Easter. On the contrary, on this day we celebrate the Descent of the Holy Spirit, we remind ourselves that the Church’s primary mission is to evangelise and spread the Word of God, His truth and love to the whole world, and the best way for us to do this, is by living our lives virtuously as exemplary and good Christians, as otherwise how can we expect others to believe in us if we ourselves do not act and live our lives in the manner that we tell others to live theirs?

May the Lord continue to bless us and guide us, and may each and every one of us continue to walk faithfully in God’s path at all times. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide us and strengthen us, now and always. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of all Christians who are faithful and committed to God, and enkindle in the fire of Your love. Come Holy Spirit, and renew the face of this Earth, purge hatred and evil from this world, and allow us Christians to strive to love one another and advance the cause of peace and harmony between all the children of God. Come Holy Spirit, and be with us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

Sunday, 5 June 2022 : Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

John 14 : 15-16, 23b-26

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments; and I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper to be with you forever. If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word and My Father will love him; and We will come to him and make a room in his home.”

“But if anyone does not love Me, he will not keep My words; and these words that you hear are not Mine, but the Father’s Who sent Me. I told you all this while I was still with you. From now on the Helper, the Holy Spirit Whom the Father will send in My Name, will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I have told you.”

Sunday, 5 June 2022 : Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Romans 8 : 8-17

So, those walking according to the flesh cannot please God. Yet your existence is not in the flesh, but in the spirit, because the Spirit of God is within you. If you did not have the Spirit of Christ, you would not belong to Him.

But Christ is within you; though the body is branded by death as a consequence of sin, the spirit is life and holiness. And if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is within you, He Who raised Jesus Christ from among the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies. Yes, He will do it through His Spirit Who dwells within you.

Then, brothers, let us leave the flesh and no longer live according to it. If not, we will die. Rather, walking in the spirit, let us put to death the body’s deeds, so that we may live. All those who walk in the Spirit of God are sons and daughters of God.

Then, no more fear : you did not receive a spirit of slavery, but the spirit that makes you sons and daughters, and every time, we cry, “Abba! (this means Dad!) Father!” the Spirit assures our spirit, that we are sons and daughters of God. If we are children, we are heirs, too. Ours will be the inheritance of God, and we will share it with Christ; for, if we now suffer with Him, we will also share glory with Him.

Sunday, 5 June 2022 : Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 103 : 1ab and 24ac, 29bc-30, 31 and 34

Bless the Lord, my soul! Clothed in majesty and splendour; How varied o Lord, are Your works! The earth full of Your creatures.

You take away their breath, they expire and return to dust. When You send forth Your Spirit, they are created, and the face of the earth is renewed.

May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in His works! May my song give Him pleasure, as the Lord gives me delight.

Sunday, 5 June 2022 : Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Acts 2 : 1-11

When the day of Pentecost came, the disciples of Jesus were all together in one place. And suddenly out of the sky came a sound like a strong rushing wind and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. There appeared tongues as if of fire which parted and came to rest upon each one of them. All were filled with Holy Spirit and began to speak other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.

Staying in Jerusalem were religious Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered, all excited because each heard them speaking in his own language. Full of amazement and wonder, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? How is it that we hear them in our own native language?”

“Here are Parthians, Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and foreigners who accept Jewish beliefs, Cretians and Arabians; and all of us hear them proclaiming in our own language what God, the Saviour, does.”

Saturday, 4 June 2022 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday beginning with the celebration of this Vigil Mass of the Pentecost. On this Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday we celebrate the coming and descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of the Lord, fifty days after the Lord’s glorious Resurrection and ten days after His Ascension into Heaven. That is why we call this celebration as the Pentecost, as Pentecost itself has the meaning of ‘fifty’, a celebration that has roots in the Jewish law and traditions, of the Pentecost festival fifty days after the Passover which was why there were a lot of people assembled in Jerusalem at the time when the Holy Spirit came down on the Apostles.

And as we listened to the readings from the Scripture, one of the first readings from the Book of Exodus related the moment the first Covenant God made with the people of Israel at Mount Sinai, the mountain of God after they have left Egypt behind and was freed from their slavery. According to tradition, this happened about fifty days after the time of the Exodus, which the Passover commemorated every year, the moment the Israelites were saved from their slavery and passed from Egypt safely through the Red Sea, while the forces and armies of the Egyptians were crushed and destroyed by the raging waves as they tried to pursue the Israelites.

The Passover itself has been made complete and renewed with the true Passover made by Christ Himself, that He, as the Lamb of God, offered Himself for our sake so that by His death, on the Cross, and the outpouring of His Blood, that brought salvation to all of us, while by passing through the waters of baptism, made holy and sanctified by His power and grace, like the Israelites of old passing through the Red Sea, all of us as Christians have passed through death to our old way of life, washed and cleansed away, freed from the slavery to our sins and evils, and beginning the journey towards our ‘Promised Land’, which is Heaven, to be with God forevermore.

Hence, based on what I mentioned earlier, we can see a very clear parallel and link between the old and new Passover, the death and Resurrection of Christ our Lord with the freedom of the Israelites from the Egyptians, and this is exactly how all of us who believe in the Lord and has been baptised, received into the Church, pass through the domains of sin and death, freed from their dominion and through Christ, enter this journey of a new life in which we are all called to a new existence, just as the newly freed Israelites were journeying towards the Promised Land of Canaan. The Lord made a New Covenant with us through His Son, just as He had made a Covenant with the Israelites back then. This time, it is not just the Israelites that were His chosen people, but all of mankind, those willing to answer and embrace His call.

Now, back to the moment the Covenant was made with the Israelites at Mount Sinai, there were also parallel between what happened there and what happened at the Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came down on the disciples of the Lord. At the time of the old Covenant, God gave His Law to His people through Moses, written as the Ten Commandments carved on two slabs of stone, and also other laws unwritten but passed through God’s wisdom to Moses, and from Him to the people of God. At the New Covenant, at Pentecost, God gave His faithful ones, the wisdom to understand His Law which He has revealed and brought into our midst through His Son, Jesus Christ, Who Himself is the embodiment of the Law.

The Holy Spirit came down upon the disciples just as the Lord had promised to them, to be their strength and guidance, to inspire them and to grant them the wisdom and understanding to proclaim His truth and salvation to the whole world. God’s works of saving His people, all of mankind began at that moment, as the Apostles and disciples were previously very afraid to leave their dwelling place, always constantly in hiding after the Lord’s Passion and death, as the Jewish authorities were strictly forbidding anyone from teaching and preaching in the Name of Jesus, openly opposing and persecuting those who were doing so.

But as the Holy Spirit came into them, the disciples gained great courage, strength and wisdom, and all of them went forth out from their hiding place, proclaiming Christ to all the assembled people in Jerusalem, who could all understand what they said even though they came from various places. That was the gift of tongues and language that the Holy Spirit granted to the disciples, a symbolic reversal of what happened if we read the story of the Tower of Babel in the Book of Genesis, where in yet another one of our possible first readings today, last time used to be all read for the Pentecost, mankind who used to speak the same language were punished and confused in their language and speech because of their pride, disobedience and sins, in trying to upstage God by building the Tower of Babel pointing towards Heaven itself.

Through what we have heard, God is calling all of us sinners back to Himself, wanting each and every one of us to be reconciled to Him. He loves us very dearly and does not want any one of us to be lost to Him. Our disobedience has led us to sin, and sin sundered us from God, separating us from His grace and love. But through His Son, Our Lord and Saviour, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, all of us have been called back from among the nations, all the lost sheep of the Lord gathered back into the same one flock of Christ, our Good Shepherd. Through baptism, we have entered this New Covenant that He had made and sealed with His own Precious Blood on the Cross.

At Pentecost, three thousand people were convinced and received baptism from the disciples, which is interestingly a comparison and contrast to what happened back then at Mount Sinai. As we all should know, the Israelites rebelled against God and disobeyed Him there when they built and raised up a golden calf idol that they treated and worshipped as god over them, and this led the whole people into sin, where according to the later part of the Book of Exodus, three thousand people sided with the idol and were crushed and killed when Moses pronounced the judgment of God against them. The three thousand people saved at Pentecost was a clear reversal of what happened at Mount Sinai.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this Pentecost Sunday is also often known as the ‘birthday of the Church’ and it is rightly so because the Church of God is the physical gathering and assembly of the people of God, of all the faithful who have shared in the gift of baptism, to be that One Body of Christ. As Scripture says, we have all been made one body, one spirit, in Christ. That is what the Church is, and as the disciples went forth from hiding to begin in earnest their work of evangelisation, converting the three thousand people and possibly more, that established the very first tangible community of the faithful people of God, the visible Church. Hence, that is why this Pentecost is considered as the birthday of the Church.

Now, having discussed in detail what Pentecost is about, and how it is closely linked to the past events in the history of salvation, let us all then discern what we are to do ourselves going forward from now on. Just as the Israelites did not reach the Promised Land immediately after God made His Covenant with them at Mount Sinai, and how they had to endure a lot of challenges, punishments and hardships along the way, thus as I mentioned earlier, that this Covenant that God made with us all as Christians mark only the beginning of our journey of faith towards Him, towards our hopefully final destination that is Heaven.

That is why we must never think of our baptism as the end of our journey. On the contrary, it is the beginning of our new life with God, beginning a new existence and life in Him, inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit, that each and every one of us enter into this journey that we are all expected to walk through in our journey and path towards God, and each one of us as Christians are called to live our lives in accordance to the way that God had taught us and expected us to live them. If we do not do so, then we are hypocrites and even in the worse case, we may even scandalise our faith and the Lord just as how some among the faithful had acted wickedly not in accordance to what Christians ought to act and believe in.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we commemorate this great rejoicing at this Pentecost Sunday, let us remind ourselves at all times that even though it marks the end of the season of Easter, but it does not mean that the spirit of Easter ends here. On the contrary, as I mentioned earlier, we must remember that our Christian living is a journey towards God, and the struggles and challenges have not yet ended. In fact, as we continue to progress in faith and through this journey of life we may realise that we will encounter more and more challenges and trials along the way, and we may have to persevere through those difficult moments and trials.

But yet, we are not alone, brothers and sisters! The Holy Spirit is with us, as our Advocate and Helper. And just as the Holy Spirit was with the Apostles and disciples of the Lord back then, guiding them, inspiring and strengthening them, the Holy Spirit is also now with us, bestowing on us the gifts that are meant to help us. However, we have to open our hearts and minds, and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in our path, as we can easily be tempted or shaken by fear that we lose our trust in God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Let us hence ask the Lord to continue to strengthen us and may the Holy Spirit continue to guide us in our journey towards the Lord and eternal life that we shall enjoy with Him forevermore. May all of us always ever be righteous and strive to do our best to walk in the path of God, now and always. Amen.

Saturday, 4 June 2022 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

John 7 : 37-39

At that time, on the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me; and let the one who believes in Me drink, for the Scripture says : Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.”

Jesus was referring to the Spirit, which those who believe in Him were to receive; the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into His glory.

Saturday, 4 June 2022 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Romans 8 : 22-27

We know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pangs of birth. Not creation alone, but even ourselves, although the Spirit was given to us as a foretaste of what we are to receive, we groan in our innermost being, eagerly awaiting the day when God will give us full rights and rescue our bodies as well.

In hope we already have salvation. But if we saw what we hoped for, there would no longer be hope; how can you hope for what is already seen? So we hope for what we do not see and we will receive it through patient hope. We are weak, but the Spirit comes to help us. How to ask? And what shall we ask for?

We do not know, but the Spirit intercedes for us without words, as if with groans. And He Who sees inner secrets knows the desires of the Spirit, for He asks for the holy ones what is pleasing to God.

Saturday, 4 June 2022 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 103 : 1-2a, 24 and 35c, 27-28, 29bc-30

Bless the Lord, my soul! Clothed in majesty and splendour; o Lord, my God, how great You are! You are wrapped in light as with a garment.

How varied o Lord, are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all – the earth full of Your creatures. Bless the Lord, my soul!

They all look to You for their food in due time. You give it to them, and they gather it up; You open Your hand, they are filled with good things.

You take away their breath, they expire and return to dust. When You send forth Your Spirit, they are created, and the face of the earth is renewed.

Saturday, 4 June 2022 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Genesis 11 : 1-9

The whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved from east, they found a plain in the country of Shinar where they settled. They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them in fire.” They used brick for stone and bitumen for mortar. They said also, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top reaching heaven; so that we may become a great people and not be scattered over the face of the earth!”

YHVH came down to see the city and the tower that the sons of man were building, and YHVH said, “They are one people and they have one language. If they carry this through, nothing they decide to do from now on will be impossible. Come! Let Us go down and confuse their language so that they will no longer understand each other.”

So YHVH scattered them over all the earth and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel, because there YHVH confused the language of the whole earth and from there YHVH scattered them over the whole face of the earth.

Alternative reading

Exodus 19 : 3-8a, 16-20b

The Israelites camped there in front of the mountain, but Moses went up to God and YHVH called to him from the mountain, saying, “This is what you are to say and to explain to the Israelites : You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to Myself.”

“Now if you listen to Me and keep My covenant, you shall be My very own possession among all the nations. For all the earth is Mine, but you will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” And He added, “This is what you are to say to the people of Israel.”

So Moses went and summoned all the elders of the people and related to them all that YHVH had commanded him to say. All the people responded with one voice, “All that YHVH has said, we will do.”

On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning and a dense cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast was heard. All the people in the camp trembled. Moses then made the people leave the camp to meet God and stand at the foot of the mountain.

Mount Sinai was completely covered in smoke because YHVH had come down in fire, and the smoke rose as from a furnace. The whole mountain shook violently, while the blast of the trumpet became louder and louder. Moses spoke and God replied in thunder. When YHVH had come down to the summit of Mount Sinai, God called Moses who went to the summit.

Alternative reading

Ezekiel 37 : 1-14

The hand of YHVH was upon me. He brought me out and led me in spirit to the middle of the valley which was full of bones. He made me walk to and fro among them and I could see there was a great number of them on the ground all along the valley and that they were very dry.

YHVH said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live again?” I said, “Lord YHVH, only You know that.” He then said, “Speak on My behalf concerning these bones; say to them : Dry bones, hear the word of YHVH! YHVH says : I am going to put spirit in you and make you live. I shall put sinews on you and make flesh grow on you; I shall cover you with skin and give you My Spirit, that you may live. And you will know that I am YHVH.”

“I prophesied as I had been commanded and then there was a noise and commotion; the bones joined together. I looked and saw that they had sinews, that flesh was growing on them and that He was covering them with skin. But there was no spirit in them.”

So YHVH said to me, “Speak on My behalf and call on the Spirit, son of man! Say to the Spirit : This is the word of YHVH : Spirit, come from the four winds. Breathe into these dead bones and let them live!” I prophesied as He had commanded me and breath entered them; they came alive, standing on their feet – a great, immense army!

He then said to me, “Son of man, these bones are all Israel. They keep saying : ‘Our bones are dry, hope has gone, it is the end of us.’ So prophesy! Say to them : This is what YHVH says : I am going to open your tombs, I shall bring you out of your tombs, My people, and lead you back to the land of Israel.”

“You will know that I am YHVH, o My people! When I open your graves and bring you out of your graves, when I put My Spirit in you and you live. I shall settle you in your land and you will know that I, YHVH, have done what I said I would do.”

Alternative reading

Joel 3 : 1-5

In the last days, I will pour out My Spirit on every mortal. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even upon My servants and maidens, I will pour out My Spirit on that day.

I will show wonders in the heavens, and on earth blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun will darken and the moon turn to blood, at the approach of the great and dreadful day of God.

Then all who call upon the Name of YHVH will be saved. For on Mount Zion there will be a remnant, as YHVH has said; in Jerusalem some will be saved – those whom YHVH will call.