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Doctrines & Morals

Come, Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of the faithful

Acts 2:1-11, 1 Cor. 12:3-7.12-12, Jn 20:19-23. The season of Easter comes to an end with today’s celebration, the Solemnity of Pentecost. On Pentecost day, we celebrate with joy the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem; which marks the beginning of the Church. Thus, the first reading presents us with the reversal of the experience of Tower of Babel. While the people sort to build for themselves a tower and their language was confused, the new people of God spoke the same language because they sort to build a community for God (Cf. Gen. 11:4, Acts 2:4). On the Jewish “Feast of the Harvest”, the Apostles met in the upper room, when suddenly, they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from Heaven and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire and they were filled with the Holy Spirit to fulfil His promise to send a helper, an Advocate, who would enable them to be His witnesses throughout the world.

In the context of the feast of Pentecost, John 20:19-23 reminds us about the integral connection between the gifts of peace and forgiveness and the action of the Holy Spirit. Jesus greets His disciples with the gift of peace. Jesus then commissions His disciples to continue the work that He has begun: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” He breathes the Holy Spirit upon the disciples and sends them to continue His work of reconciliation through the forgiveness of sins. The act of Jesus breathing the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles mirrors the act of God breathing life into Adam. In fact, the Greek and Hebrew words for “spirit” can also be translated as “breath.” The celebration of Pentecost reminds us that the Church is called to be a reconciling presence in the world. The reconciling presence of Christ is celebrated in the sacramental life of the Church, recalling the jubilee celebration of the Old Testament: a period of redemption and of setting the captives free. Thus, the celebration of Pentecost is the replacement of the jubilee. As Moses received the Law for the people on the mountain (Ex. 21), so did the Apostles receive the Spirit of the Law in the Upper Room. In the Sacrament of Baptism, we are cleansed of sin and become a new creation in Christ. In the Sacrament of Penance, the Church celebrates the mercy of God through the forgiveness of sins. This reconciling presence is also to be a way of life for Christians. In situations of conflict, we are to be agents of peace and harmony among people.

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us to mode us, guard us and strengthen us! Amen!! Good morning and Happy Pentecost Sunday!!!

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