for Sunday, May 24, 2015
The Spirit of God is upon us! Yet so often we feel and sense nothing. At
other times we do feel perhaps a touch of the Spirit and a sense that truly
the Spirit is our comforter. Some are involved in the Charismatic Movement
in which there can be an enormous sense of the presence of the Spirit. We
know that in the early Church, this sense of the Spirit was deep and
profound - and expressed in so many ways. The most obvious ways, of course,
were in tongues and in healing. Yet we must always be aware that Saint
Paul teaches us that there are many, many gifts of the Spirit and these
gifts are given in various ways. We must accept the gifts given to us and
allow the Spirit to act as the Spirit acts: always creatively.
The first reading today, from the Acts of the Apostles, speaks about the
gift of tongues but also about a gift of understanding. It was clear in
the early Church that sometimes people had a gift of speaking in a language
that no one could understand. Then that person was asked to be silent
because the gift was not for the community. Others had a gift of tongues
which the rest could understand. Sometimes it seems there was a gift of
one person to understand the language of another person. So we have both
speaking and understanding as gifts.
Speaking and understanding what? The mighty gifts of God! This is not
speaking and understanding the gossip of the day, what is going on around
us, how to do things! No, this is speaking and understanding how God is at
work here and now in our lives.
There are two possibilities for a second reading today. The Letter to the
Galatians, tells us some of the works of the flesh but also some of the
works of the Spirit. Saint Paul wants us to understand clearly how to
identify if we or others are acting in the Spirit of God. We do that by
seeing if the fruits of the Spirit are present: love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
It is, in many ways, a very easy task to evaluate if we or others are
living in the Spirit of Jesus Christ because we know these fruits of the
Spirit. Living in Christ is not about power over others, not about being
acknowledged by others, not about status or about glory. Living in Christ
is the hard and arduous task of serving others, almost as a slave of
others, for the love of Jesus Christ.
The other option for the second reading is from the First Letter to the
Corinthians and tells us that we can only say that Jesus is Lord if we are
guided by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit will manifest itself in many ways
and so once again we see that there is an enormous variety in the ways to
live our Christian life.
The Gospel also has two options today and both of them add a note to our
reflections: the Spirit will always cause us to acknowledge Jesus as Lord.
To live in all truth is to live in Jesus. To seek truth is to seek Jesus.
Thus the Spirit will help us understand the words Jesus has left us in
Holy Scripture and will not begin to preach novelties or teachings which
contradict what has been handed down to us from Jesus.
The Gospel of John is very clear that the manifestation of true love is
always in pardon of the sins of others.
Come, Holy Spirit! Draw us into this mystery! Come, Holy Spirit! Form us
in Christ the Lord and lift us up to eternal life.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Acts 2.1-11
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12.3b-7, 12-13
Gospel: John 20.19-23
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: