Gospel Reflection June 5 – Deacon Frank
Sunday, June 5
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.”
Think of the times you have witnessed or experienced a warm breeze in the spring, the wind on a hike in nature, or a cool breeze in the late summer or early autumn. Conversely, think of a hurricane, tornado, uncontrolled fire that causes immense power and even devastation. Wind and Fire can be gentle and can be all-powerful.
With this weekend’s feast of Pentecost, the wonderful season of Easter – the great 50 days – comes to an end. One would think that there could be no greater expression of God’s power and love than God being born into our humanity for the purpose of offering himself up to die (and to die as a sacrifice for us), only to rise from the dead and ascend to the Faher. What could God possibly do to show more power and love? How about give himself to us, sharing with us his very self through the gift of the Holy Spirit poured out on our world? It is this wondrous gift that we celebrate today!
The scene of that day of Pentecost that we will hear in the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles is filled with wonder, awe, fear, confusion, and amazement. The room where the apostles have gathered in anticipation of “something big” is filled, we were told, with a thunderous roar of a mighty wind and “tongues as a fire”. Two very powerful images of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
On this feast of Pentecost, we are invited by the church to reflect upon how the Holy Spirit is alive in us: in our church and in our world! We do well this day to give thanks to God for so great a gift and to explore with all humility how much we allow that Spirit to enter ourselves and how much more we can do to put the gift of God’s Spirit into action in our lives.
Deacon Frank Iannarino