Pentecostal Sunday

Posté par diaconos le 27 mai 2020

As the Father has sent me, so am I sending you : receive the Holy Spirit

pentecote

From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John

This was after Jesus’ death; and when evening came, on that first day of the week, when the doors of the place where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, were locked, Jesus came, and there he was in the midst of them. And he said to them :  « Peace be with you !  » And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, « Peace be with you ! As the Father has sent me, so am I sending you. « And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, « Receive the Holy Spirit.     To whom you forgive his sins, they will be forgiven; to whom you retain his sins, they will be retained. «  (Jn 20:19-23).

Receive the Holy Spirit

In John’s Gospel, it is on the very evening of Easter (Jn 20, 19) that the Holy Spirit is given to the apostles, and the Church is born, from the very breath of Jesus. For John the resurrection of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit to the apostles took place on the first day of the week.

On the first day of that week, a new world begins, a new life. For there to be life, there must be the creative breath of God. For there to be Church, there must be the creative breath of the Spirit. The Church was born with this event of Pentecost. Since that day, Christians meet from « the first day of the week » to « the first day of the week » … from Sunday to Sunday. The Church was born with this rhythmic gathering, from week to week, for centuries and even today.

It is not by chance that John makes a link between the resurrection of Jesus and the gift of the Spirit. Let us meditate on the words of Jesus, as a sacrament of God’s presence. The word of Jesus is one of the bases of true Christian life. Let us meditate on a word to which we are faithful, a word that is lived, that is to say, a word that is put into practice. The Word of Jesus is not one thing, it is someone : Jesus having left, there is another who comes to take over, sent by the Father in the name of Jesus : it is the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said to them,  :  « Peace be with you ! As the Father has sent me, so am I sending you » (Jn 20, 21). They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord. They were locked up, and now they were sent on a mission. The gift of the Spirit comes to make this mission possible; mission to transmit Salvation, Forgiveness, Holiness.

The Holy Spirit adds nothing to Jesus, just as Jesus added nothing to the Father : They are three who are one ! The Holy Spirit is the one who communicates the whole life of God to humanity. It is the Holy Spirit who will help the Church to understand progressively the gift of God, revealed in Jesus Christ. And today, the Holy Spirit is always at work : « I am with you always, until the end of the ages » (Mt 28, 20) said Jesus. The Church still has much to understand, to discover and to live, and this is even more true for each one of us.

It is important to understand that the feast of Pentecost (First Reading) did not take place only for the apostles : the violent wind was also perceived by a multitude of men and women in Jerusalem : each one heard the marvels of God proclaimed in his or her own language. (Acts 2, 5-11)

For a person to recognize in the word of another, the Word of God, there must be the action of the Holy Spirit. « It is therefore the Holy Spirit himself who affirms to our spirit that we are children of God » (Rom 8, 16).

The feast of Pentecost is not only the feast of the birth of the Church through the powers handed down to the apostles, but it is also the feast of the renewal of the world through the action of the Holy Spirit who gradually leads all humanity to the understanding of Jesus’ message : « The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you! « (Jn 14, 26)

Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to teach us to understand and live the Gospel today.  When the disciples had shut themselves up in the Upper Room because they were afraid, Jesus came, and there he was in their midst. The sudden appearance of Jesus among his imprisoned disciples meant that he could not be held back by any obstacle to be among his own people.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

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Links to other Christian websites

◊ Got Questions : click here to read the paper → What is Pentecost Sunday ?

◊ Joseph of Jesus and Mary  : click here to read the paper → As the Father has sent me, I also send you.

Pentecost Sunday

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