“And you too will be witnesses …”
A full 50 days has passed since the resurrection, and with this feast of Pentecost the Easter season comes to an end in the most dramatic way imaginable.
The miraculous events of that Pentecost event which followed the death and resurrection of Jesus saw the birth of a something greater than a mere club or association of people, something greater than a movement even. What emerges is not just a group of people bound by an ethical system or set of ideals. If that were the case there would be no reason for their continuance after the horrific public torture and execution of their leader.
The people that follow after Jesus are bound together by a common event – an experience of a life transformed by an encounter with a person who was not defeated by death – a person whose continuing presence is felt in the deep and profound joy which penetrates every fibre of their being as individuals, and which binds them together in love.
In this Gospel story Jesus bequeaths to his followers his Holy Spirit. This is the same Spirit which descends on the Apostles in the Upper Room (see Acts 2), the same Spirit that inspires the missionary journey’s of those first Apostles, the same spirit which inspired the writing of the Sacred Scriptures we hold so dear, and the same Spirit that continues to inspire us as we read from those Scriptures and engage in those works of mercy to which we are called.
The Spirit given to us by Christ binds us together in love and continues to animate his Body, the Church.
Today’s feast of Pentecost puts to us a real challenge – have I opened myself to the presence of the Spirit in my day to day? Have I allowed the Spirit to inspire my work, so that I can be fully a member of Jesus’ body, the Church?
Let us persist in praying for Jesus’ continued sending of his Spirit to enlighten and enliven us
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And You shall renew the face of the earth.