Congregation for the Clergy Reflection on Pentecost Sunday
We are therefore called to desire and welcome the gift of the Holy Spirit
We are called to desire and welcome the gift of the Holy Spirit because our lives, even before we say a word, become a comprehensible testimony in the eyes of the many brothers who have not yet experienced the joy of being a Christian. Renewed by Pentecost, they could also be 'astounded and amazed' and could say, 'we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God' (Acts 2: 7,11)
VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - In the fiftieth day after Easter, the Apostles found themselves 'all in one room' in the Cenacle (Cfr. Acts 2:1) for the Jewish fest of Pentecost, which is the anniversary of the donation of God's Law, the Torah, to Moses on Mount Sinai.
None of them could possibly have foretold that, exactly on this day, the Lord would have fulfilled the promise that Jesus made many times regarding the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit. (cfr. Jn 14:16)
We are also called to remember that, along with the prodigious signs that occurred in that upper room, 'there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven' who could hear them each speaking in his own language, 'of the mighty acts of God.' (Acts 2:5,11)
The Holy Spirit is essentially a great new gift, a new Law, that God made first and foremost to those that had persevered until the end. The Holy Spirit is a gift of grace that isn't destined for a singular ethnic group, but is like the air, it must be communicated to all men on the earth because if 'you take away their breath, they die.' (Cfr. Ps 103:29)
The meaning of the Lord's urgent appeal to each of us becomes clearer after this fiftieth day, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.' (Jn 20:21)
We can clearly understand how it is necessary to 'receive the Holy Spirit' (Jn 20:21) in order to realise this mandate. To use the analogy of water which makes the earth fertile, the Holy Spirit makes the lives of Jesus' disciples fertile, specifically strengthening them to fulfil their mission as 'the particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose' (1 Cor 12:7)
The adjective 'particular' brings us back to the beginning of today's reflection. What does it mean for us today 'to speak in different languages' and what does the new Law that God has given to His nascent Church consist of? The Liturgy, that great educative channel and treasure of grace in the hands of the Church, clarifies these questions.
The new Law that, on this Sunday, was consigned to us is God's life that is love: a love that doesn't have barriers, not even death, after it was defeated on the Cross. 'He showed them his hands and his side.' (Jn 20:20) It is a gift that takes us directly into the heart of God and that can only give us the necessary strength so that our hearts 'light up with the fire of His love' (Cfr Acclamation to the Gospel).
We are therefore called to desire and welcome the gift of the Holy Spirit because our lives, even before we say a word, become a comprehensible testimony in the eyes of the many brothers who have not yet experienced the joy of being a Christian. Renewed by Pentecost, they could also be 'astounded and amazed' and could say, 'we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God' (Acts 2: 7,11)
Ac 2,1-11 : www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9abtnjb.htm
1Co 12,3b-7.12-13 : www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9abtnll.htm
Jn 20,19-23 : www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9a3mhet.htm
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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