Devotional: A Reflection on Pentecost

Mother McHugh

The day was hot—no escape from

the beating-down sun, no shade, no respite here

or anywhere

the upper room close and stifling, sweat glistening on every upturned face

anticipating, knowing not what, but waiting nonetheless, faithful to the angel’s instruction.

And then, of a sudden, a subtle change. . .and out of nowhere a curl of air teases

“Glory be to God!” it is deliciously cool

and they give thanks.


But then wisp gradually gusts to wind, a breath so cool and refreshing, swelling and more insistent

until its whisper grows to a moan and the moan to a roar

and the disciples know there is Someone in the wind,

Someone is coming, the One they have been waiting for

—no dread, no fear, only joy.


Then on and all about them there are flames

bathing them in the Spirit of God, incandescent with the power of the coming

And they are free of all that held them back

Held them down.

Held them under.

Now, at last ready, they pour into the streets

Speaking his name, proclaiming the message

And all understand

And caught up in the message believe

and embrace each other

and in that moment, know peace beyond all understanding.


Transformed and newly wise

the disciples smile

for so, it begins. . .


Rev. Phyllis McHugh

St. Thomas More ANCC (Elkins Park, PA)

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