for Sunday, May 23, 2010
We celebrate this solemnity of 50 days after Easter as the fullness of
Easter itself. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us any strength of faith
that we may have. Just as Jesus died and was raised to life by the Spirit
of the Father, so also we must life our life in that same Spirit of the
Father, as sisters and brothers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In our first reading today, from the Acts of the Apostles, we begin to
understand more clearly that although the followers of Jesus believed in
Him, they still were afraid to teach Him publicly and to proclaim Him to
all of the nations. They had to wait for this Holy Spirit to take hold of
them and give them courage in the face of ridicule and rejection. Many of
us are also shy about proclaiming our faith in the Lord Jesus. Perhaps
today we can pray for this Spirit to come on us and to give us courage so
that our faith becomes simply another aspect of us and we are no longer
uneasy in talking about it.
The second reading, from the First Letter to the Corinthians, is clear
that you and I and others form the one body of Christ in this world. Our
gifts are different, one person from another. All of the gifts are need to
continue the work of Christ in our world. How different our world looks
when we begin to recognize that each person brings his or her own gifts and
that we need those gifts to live in the fullness of Jesus Christ.
The Gospel today, from Saint John, tells us about the coming of the Holy
Spirit. It is clear again that these early followers were cowering behind
closed doors with a lot of fear. The coming of the Holy Spirit takes their
fears away. These first followers seem to need peace, because that is the
first greeting of the Lord to them: Peace be with you! May we know the
peace of Jesus in our own lives! With peace comes the capacity to forgive
the sins of others. This forgiveness is clearly a gift of the Lord who
loves us. This gift is given to each of us individually and also to the
Church in her ordained ministers. Today we can rejoice in forgiving all
who may ever have harmed us in any way whatsoever. And we can invite
others to forgive us if we have ever harmed them in any way whatsoever.
At the heart of our Christian life, fear is taken away, peace and
forgiveness are given. May we dispel the fears of others and proclaim the
peace and forgiveness given to us in Christ Jesus. Come, Holy Spirit.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: