Thursday 5 November 2015

Pentecost Sunday, year’ B’ Pentecôte, année B

“Again Jesus said to them, ’Peace be with you.As the Father sent me so I am sending you.’”

Ac. 2, 1-11 Ps. 103 Ga.5,16-25 Jn. 20, 19-23

Pentecost Sunday, year ’B’ “In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews.Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ’Peace be with you!’”

The disciples were afraid of their blood brothers, soon turned into their enemies; frightened too of their own fragility because they lacked hope. Barricaded in their house they weren’t expecting anything any more, or just something in a very vague way. And here was the Risen Lord Jesus present, the doors were closed yet here He was in their midst.We might be closed in on ourselves, putting up barriers of hatred or fear, nothing stops the Will of the Risen Lord Jesus to bring Peace to the world.We celebrate Pentecost, the feast of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. Already we magnify God for the first creation which is so beautiful. The Holy Spirit hovered over the waters. We need to ask how to understand how much the whole of Creation is held in the creative hand of God, how it is held in the Spirit of God.“You send your breath, they are created ; you give a new face to the earth.” In spite of man’s sin, a new creation bursts forth from this first creation which is so marvelous. Then we are aware of how many people live in fear. “The disciples had bolted the doors of where they were staying, for they were afraid.” Standing amongst them, Jesus said, ’Peace be with you.’ The Holy Spirit comes to bring together the whole of the universe.

"After saying this, he showed them His hands and his side. The disciples were filled with Joy seeing the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ’Peace be with you! As the Father sent me, I too am sending you forth.’

In the joy of this encounter, Jesus commends to them his mission, the unique mission received from the Father. He sends them as he himself had been sent; he sends them into the world, he sends them with his peace to confront the world of sin, of refusal and of division. This is why Jesus communicates to them his Holy Spirit, the Paraclete who bears witness to Jesus, the Spirit of Truth, who says to

each man that He is a son of God . The Holy Spirit says again in each one : ’Abba, Father.’ The Eucharist is this fortunate recognition of the Person of Jesus, of his Divinity and of his Glory. When we are in communion with the Body and Blood of the Risen Lord Jesus, we live in the Peace and Joy of Jesus. This mystery is the mystery of the Church, making Jesus’ life present in the present day.When we celebrate this new creation in the Holy Spirit, we recall Mary : ’The Holy Spirit will cover you with His shadow’, the Angel had said to her. ’And the Child who will be born will be called Son of God’ When the Heart of Jesus was pierced on the Cross, water and blood gushed forth from it. This is the very Life of Jesus that is communicated to the Church and through her we have received the Holy Spirt, being baptized in his Passion and Resurection.And so we don’t just live naturally, but from God, in going towards God. We come to understand that if we need air to live our natural life, which is already a beautiful one, we are situated in another creation that is even more marvelous. Our life is the life of God, the Holy Spirit gives us life like a source bursting forth.

’Having spoken , Jesus breathed upon them and said to them ’Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.’

Jesus shows his wounds, so that the encounter can be referred to past dialogues, so that the Peace can refer to the agony of Jesus of Nazareth, and so that the Christ of faith be ever identified to the historical Jesus.The disciples see the wounds, and they believe in the Lord. And straight away joy enters into their lives. It is this ’perfect joy’ that Jesus wanted for them. We ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten us : ’Come Holy Spirit.’ The Spirit gives us life by transforming it from within our existence into love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, benevolence, faith, humility and self-control. He turns our personal being into the person of Christ having him feel the feelings of a Son.Jesus sends his Church to forgive sins so that humanity finds hope once again : forgiving oneself and forgiving others is the work of the Holy Spirit in the human heart. We ask that peace be given to us. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is given. It is the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of holiness of truth who brings peace. We ask that peace, which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit , be given to the world.

Let us ask the Holy Spirit for the grace that He be given to us as He is given to the Apostles.