Posted by: livingscripture | June 8, 2014

SOLEMNITY OF PENTECOST

From the Word of the Day

 

“On the evening of that first day of the week…Jesus came…and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, so I send you’.  And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.  Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained’.”

 (John 19: 21-23)             

 

How should we live this Word Jesus risen 3

We have arrived at Pentecost!  Together with Easter, this is the greatest Feast of the Church.  The unity of these two Feasts in highlighted very well by John’s Gospel today.  The Spirit is the Easter gift from Jesus.  In fact, the Evangelist notes that Pentecost happened on ‘the evening of that first day of the week –Easter’.  The Spirit gives the Church the capacity to revivify and rejuvenate itself.  With the very meaningful and emblematic gesture of ‘breathing’ on the disciples, Jesus refers to primordial creation.  It is the breath of God-Creator on man that makes him become a living being!  Spirit and Breath, in Jesus’ maternal tongue, are expressed with the identical term ‘Ruah’.

In the Book of Genesis, we read that in creating the first human being from clay, using it to form his body, God infused His own Breath into him to make him ‘live’ (Genesis 2: 7).  This first creation and first birth, was entirely oriented to the second creation and the second birth that we celebrate on this Pentecost Sunday.    The indissoluble bond, formed from the beginning between humans and God, became consolidated in a prodigious way with the life and death of Jesus, God’s Son.  In fact, the expression used by the Evangelist to describe the Savior’s death, is not limited to a banal statement that he breathed His last, but that ‘He handed over His Spirit’ (John 19: 30).

Thus, on Easter evening, seeing His apostles again gathered for the first time, the Risen Jesus had no better gift to give them than His Breath, the Holy Spirit of the Son and of the Father, who grant us forgiveness of sins.

This Breath of the Spirit is indispensable for us to live!  Do you want tangible proof?  Try to stop breathing for some minutes…you will immediately feel you are suffocating!  The Breath of the Spirit is like this.

Holy Pentecost!

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will remain in the Presence of the Spirit, relishing His Breath in me that gives me life and grace and makes me holy if I am willing to be lead by the Gift of the Spirit.

Today, during a time of intense and humble prayer, I will repeat, “Come, Breath of Jesus and of the Father!  Come, breathe on me, purify me from all my sins and make me live again in You!” 

The voice of Pope Francis (Discourse to the 66th Assembly of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, May 19, 2014 

Dear Brothers, our meeting together this evening and in this assembly is a grace.  It is the experience of sharing, of ‘synod’.  It is the motive for renewed trust in the Holy Spirit, to receive the breath of His voice and to second it with the offering of our freedom.


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