Sunday, June 4
John 20: 19 – 23
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”
Pentecost Sunday formally brings to a close the 50 days of the Easter Season. This day is known as the “birthday” of the Church. That is, of course, all of us. We were born on this day. The Holy Spirit came and enlivened a group that had almost died. The risen Lord sent his living Spirit to be our life. Each one of us, as well as the whole Church together, receives these gifts, and these gifts need to be used.
We begin with the gift of PEACE. Not the world’s peace, initially, but our own. We seek to grow in the gift of a peaceful mind and heart, and peaceful relationships in our life. That is our first prayer. “Come Holy Spirit, into my heart and mind and life.”
The second gift is MISSION. All of us are sent from this church building into the world around us. We are able, with the Holy Spirit’s help, to be outgoing and to help bring a gift of peace into the lives of those we live with, play with, study with and work with. It is a grace given to us. Do not let it go for nothing. WE can inspire others.
Finally, the third gift is the GRACE to reconcile people who struggle or are at war with one another. There is the power to forgive others and the power to call people to justice. May we believe this and may we accept this.
Come Holy Spirit!
Deacon Frank Iannarino