This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. Last Sunday when we celebrated Ascension Jesus told us in the Gospel that he would send us the Holy Spirit to be our advocate with the Father. Today we celebrate the decent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the beginning of the apostolic mission to bring the Church to the world. It is the birthday of the church so maybe we should sing happy birthday as well as Veni Creator Spiritus and blow out the candles on the birthday cake instead of blowing out the paschal candle because it’s the end of the Easter Season!!
By the time John wrote his gospel, Jewish Christians had been excommunicated for their belief in the Messiah. Ostracized and socially persecuted, some Christians reacted in fear, while others boldly proclaimed the gospel. Early Christians needed a sense of stability, a sense of divine peace. Through the words of Jesus, “Peace” was John’s prayer for his readers as we listen to this gospel reading. With the sight of Jesus, fear turned into great joy. Anxiety turned into relief. Desperation turned into vindication.
Most important, a lack of spiritual direction turned into a sense of deep spiritual grounding. The divine presence stood close to them and with the divine presence came divine peace. We too have the divine presence in the Blessed Sacrament and it brings Joy and spiritual grounding to all those who come and Jesus says to each and every one you are welcome.We can’t ignore the problems that are there and there are many in our own lives and the lives of those around us. Most of the time, the problems just don’t go away by themselves very often we need to stop and think things through. If we pray through the problems as well as thinking them through we will find that they are much easier to get through. Simply put Prayer Moves Mountains and we shouldn’t stop climbing. Gathered at Mass week in week out we bring our prayers to God. We each have our own needs. Family and friends may be sick. People we know need work. The person who has been central to our lives for so long has died. We bring these and all our concerns in prayer to church because they remind us of our need and they raise our hopes in the power of God made real to every generation through the Holy Spirit.
Through the Holy Spirit our relationship with God is fruitful, satisfies our longings, and brings us peace. Because of God’s faithfulness, we give thanks, offer sacrifice, and once again present our needs this Pentecost Sunday as we remember the presence of God with us in all our lives.