Sunday, May 23, 2010


Pentecost Sunday is a fitting end to the Easter Season because the mystery this day commemorates brings to fulfillment the entire work of the Paschal Mystery. Christ our Lord suffered, died, resurrected from the dead, and was glorified so that he may give to us the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “If I do not leave you, the Paraclete will never come.” The coming of the Holy Spirit completes the work Christ was sent to do on earth.

A few Sundays ago, we heard from the book of the Apocalypse: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away…and I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem…The One who sat on the throne said, “Behold I make all things new.” By his resurrection, Christ makes all things new. But how does he do it? The Responsorial Psalm gives us the answer: “Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.” The Holy Spirit was the instrument by which God created the world. In the book of Genesis the world was described as covered with chaotic waters and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters. This world which was created by God in goodness was destroyed by sin. “Through the disobedience of one man, sin entered the world and together with sin entered death.” Because of this, God creates a new heaven and a new earth by sending us his Son whose death brings forth to us the Holy Spirit who renews the face of the earth. The Holy Spirit descends on a Sunday, on the first day of the week because on the first day, God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. Evening came, morning followed, the first day. Pentecost Sunday is the first day of the re-creation of the world. On this day, God makes all things new.

Thus, the coming of the Holy Spirit renews the world. Pentecost Sunday is the day of renewal. He brings forth a new earth. He transforms us into a new creation through the Sacrament of Baptism. Some Sundays back, Jesus said to us, “I no longer call you slaves for a slave does not know what his Master is about. Instead, I call you friends because I have told you everything I heard from my Father.” Jesus calls us friends because he reconciled us with the Father through the Blood that he shed on the Cross. Once, we were enemies of God but now we are his friends, thanks to the Blood which was the price of our freedom from sin. However, at the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Lord does something more for us. We are not just friends. We have become sons and daughters of God. “Those who are led by the Spirit of God is a son of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’” The Holy Spirit whom we received at baptism brings God so much closer to us: “My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” The Holy Spirit dwelling in us is the pledge of eternal life. Baptism, which gives us the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, is the first day of our eternity. Unless he is driven away by our mortal sin, the Holy Spirit will dwell in us for ever: “I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always.” This is the newness which Christ’s resurrection ushers into the world. The Holy Spirit comes to renew the face of the earth.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created and you shall renew the face of the earth.

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