Summary: PENTECOST SUNDAY
Come Holy Spirit
My dear sisters and brothers,
Today, let us take the gospel according to Saint John (John 20:19-23) on the day of the Pentecost Sunday for our reflection:
‘On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “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.”’
As soon as Jesus leaves them, what do the apostles whom Jesus had commissioned to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth do?
They retire to their upper rooms and hide themselves.
Because, they were afraid of the Jews.
They knew that the people did not like them.
They knew that their message was different from the popular message of the time.
They just felt like wrapping themselves up in bed and not having to get up and face the hostile society.
We too are often like that, going to church quietly.
We receive Jesus in our hearts quietly.
We go home again quietly.
We say our morning and evening prayers quietly.
What about the responsibility that Jesus left for us!
What is the responsibility?
The responsibility is to be his witnesses.
The responsibility is to share the Good News of God’s love with all humankind.
Am I doing it?
Let us question ourselves on this Pentecost Sunday…
The answer may be…
We do not.
The simple answer is that we are afraid.
We imagine that people do not like to be reminded of God and God’s love in and through Jesus Christ and creation.
We are afraid they are going to tell us to get away if we speak to them about God’s love.
We are afraid they will not listen to us when we preach the Word of God.
We are afraid they will call us a freak out of touch with reality when we speak a loud the truth.
We are afraid they do not like us.
And so, we give up on our God-given responsibility and go on enjoying our comfortable silence, our comfortable sleep.
Fortunately, we have a guide, the Holy Spirit, who wakes us from our sleep and persuades us to go out and preach.
We read in the gospel according to John (John 15:26-27):
Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father,
he will testify to me.
And you also testify,
because you have been with me from the beginning.
This is the kind of work that the Holy Spirit does in the hearts of believers.
When fear of trouble tends to freeze our faith into silent submission to despair, the Holy Spirit warms us up and empowers us to go out there and make a difference.
The Holy Spirit reminds us that we have a mission.
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you.”
Our mission is to tell everybody the Good News that God is their Father.
God is the Father of us all.
In spite of all the visible difference of region, culture, language, race, social status, caste and creed, we are all one in God’s family as we read in the first letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 12:12-13):
As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks,
slaves or free persons,