St. Bede the Venerable, Doctor
St. Bede was a British monk who dedicated himself to prayer, writing, and study. He was so well known for his learning and holiness that he was made not only a saint, but a Doctor of the Church. But he is something of an oddity among the doctors. Most of the Doctors are known for their theological or spiritual writings. The work that St. Bede is most known for is a history book, An Ecclesiastical HIstory of the English Speaking Peoples. He does not simply talk about Britain after Christianity came, but starts around the arrival of Julius Caesar.
Bede was convinced that God is at work in history in very real and concrete ways. For him, the careful study of history was a way to observe how God works in the world, and how humanity responds to God– in both good and bad ways. As we saw yesterday, the Holy Spirit has come into the world, and everything is being made new. This is important to bear in mind at this point in the liturgical year. In the readings, we are picking up basically where we left off before Ash Wednesday. But nothing is the same after Pentecost. As we hear the readings, we should ask ourselves what difference the Spirit makes. How is the Spirit at work in what we hear, how is the Spirit needed in the various events, and how are things different thanks to the Spirit?