PENTECOST SUNDAY (Red) Cycle C/Year II (May 23, 2021) Acts 2:1-11/1Cor 12:3-7/Jn 20:19-23
On the evening of His resurrection, Christ appeared to His Apostles who were gathered in a closed room and after giving to them His peace and commissioning them, He breathed on them saying: “Receive the Holy Spirit” (Jn 20:22). This action of Jesus reminds us of the creation account in Genesis where God, after forming a clay into a human figure, “blew the breath of life into his nostrils, and man became a living being” (Gen 2:7). This breath of life, the Holy Spirit, was one with God in the creation of the whole world as the Bible says: “there was darkness over the deep, with a divine wind sweeping over the waters” (Gen 1:2). In fact, it was through this divine wind, the Holy Spirit, that God created the world.
The Holy Spirit was seen as an active instrument in the creation of the world. It was through Him that God put order to the chaotic world and gave life to the living creatures. In the creation of man, we see also in the Bible how God breathed the Holy Spirit into the man and made man a living person. In the creation account, the Holy Spirit, then, is seen as the One who creates and gives live.
The creation event is somehow repeated during the Pentecost when the Risen Lord breathed on the Apostles the Holy Spirit. We know that during Christ’s mission on earth, He formed the Church by His preaching and teaching, doing miraculous deeds, grouping a lot of disciples and choosing some apostles. It was as if God, in the creation account, was forming in His hands the figure of human person out of clay. Yet there was still no life until God breathed on it the Holy Spirit. In the same way, the Church formed by Christ was not yet alive until during the Pentecost when He breathed on her the Holy Spirit.
With the Pentecost, the giving of the Holy Spirit, the humanity is recreated. The Original Sin of Adam and Eve damaged the nature of humanity putting man into a dead relationship with God. The Original Sin separated man from God, the fountain and giver of life. Indeed, it was necessary for man to be recreated as man, though physically awake, was spiritually dead. Such recreation happened during this Pentecost. Jesus gave His Holy Spirit to the humanity and as man was recreated, the Church was made alive.
The Pentecost then is the feast not only of the foundation of the Church but also of the recreation of each of us human person. God has recreated us and given us the capacity to live according to our dignity of a human person and especially of a child of God. God has empowered us to love God and our neighbor. There is nothing that can hinder us to love except our free will and choice. God has given us the ability to love and has even exhorted us to live in love. It depends now on us if we follow the will of God. God respects our freedom yet we must realize that there are unavoidable consequences of our fundamental decision in life. If we choose to follow God, we will have everlasting life especially in the second life; but if we decide the contrary, we will doom ourselves into eternal death.
As Catholic Christians, we must celebrate on this day our rebirth into a new person. God has recreated us as a result of His death and resurrection and has given us the power to live as children of God in and through the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who sustains in love and in truth. It is He who brings us closer to God and makes us active members of the Church founded by Christ. We should be receptive to the Holy Spirit and perceptive to His guidance. With the Holy Spirit living in us, we must reject all the falsities in our lives, all the impurities, inequities, injustices, selfishness and malicious intentions. We must act always according to the dictate of our conscience and in total coherence to the teachings of Christ and of His Catholic Church.
Lastly, the Pentecost happens not only today that Jesus breathes on us His Holy Spirit but also every time that He recreates us through the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession. Every time we confess our sins to a priest and receives the divine forgiveness through the priest’s absolution, we are renewed as human person by the Holy Spirit and given us the power to live life anew. Let us always make use of this sacrament to constantly renew us in the divine life. Our human nature is fragile and we usually fall into sins. Through this sacrament, God will give us the opportunity and the power to stand up and renew our commitment to Him and to live as true Disciples of Christ.
Let us ask the help of the Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, who is our model in receiving the Holy Spirit. By offering her whole life to God, she received the fullness of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Through her intercessions, may we be able to offer our whole lives to God so that God may continuously send us His Spirit and we may always live as children of God.