This weekend we finish the season of Easter with the celebration of Pentecost that is the birthday of the Church. This Sunday’s celebration is about the coming of the Holy Spirit the Advocate to the Church at its beginning.Our readings from scripture call to mind a universal need for a rekindling of the gifts of the Holy Spirit as well as a renewal of peace. St. Paul in today’s reading explains: “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.
In the Gospel, Jesus, knowing that human nature is still weak, gives the apostles the power to forgive and reconcile those who sin. It is God’s mercy working through His bishops and priests down through the ages to ourselves in our own time and place! Our Holy Father, Pope Francis has, just returned from Palestine and Israel and on Sunday he will host the leaders of Israel and Palestine in a time of prayer at the Vatican. He has shown immense courage in outreach for peace and new unity between the Roman Church and the Orthodox who split from the Church of Rome nearly a thousand years ago. We can’t ignore problems that arise in our lives and, most of the time, they just don’t go away by themselves very often we need to stop and think things through. That said praying through the problems seems to be the most reasonable solution to getting through them as many people will tell you prayer helps a great deal in any situation.
As we reflect on the Word of God this Sunday, let us ask for the specific gifts of the Spirit that will be helpful to us at whatever point in our journey we find ourselves. Let us rejoice when we receive an abundance of gifts and graces. May the peace of the Lord reign in our hearts! Come, Holy Spirit!