Sunday, June 9
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.”
The gospel this Sunday takes us right back to the day of the Resurrection when the Risen Lord appeared first to his disciples. It is given to us to understand that Jesus has fulfilled His promise to never leave us and to show to all people for all time that He has conquered what we fear most, everlasting death. The gift He bring is everlasting life! Jesus is the one who has overcome and defeated death and sin and because of Him we live a new life.
A further gift of the Risen Lord to his apostles and to all who believe in his name, and pledge their life to His, is the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, who perinates the whole world with love. The sustaining and life-giving gift of the Holy Spirit is what the Church wishes us to focus on today and it is this gift that completes the circle of love, of the Creator, and the Redeemer Jesus Christ.
Today, and this weekend, as the focus of the world has turned to the events of D-Day in 1944, and the great valor and sacrifice of those who have served, and prayer for those who have given their lives for our freedom, the gift of the Holy Spirit reminds us that having received this love of God in the Spirit, we must not hold it in but share it with others so that all may know the power and grace that the Lord bestows on the world and on each of us personally.
Perhaps the prayer we need to say repeatedly this weekend is “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love.” Come Holy Spirit, come!