Friday, June 23, 2017

Pentecost Meditation: The face of the world renewed

Renew the face of the earth!
Jesus, I trust in you!

On the night of Easter Sunday, Jesus appeared to his disciples. By his crucifixion and death, he entered into the glory of his Father. Returning from the Father, he rose from the dead. Behind the locked doors, Jesus came to meet his disciples. Coming from the other side of the grave, Jesus gave them his precious gift. He breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

The Holy Spirit is the Risen Christ’s gift to his disciples. The sending of the Holy Spirit is the very fruit of Christ’s death and resurrection. He died on the cross so that he could give us the Holy Spirit: “If I do not leave you, the Paraclete will never come.” We say that the Lord died on the cross so that our sins may be forgiven. The forgiveness of sins is made possible by the Holy Spirit. That is why when Jesus breathed on his disciples, he said: “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them.” By giving them the Holy Spirit, Jesus gave the apostles the power to forgive sins.

By sending the Holy Spirit to his disciples, Jesus completes the Easter mysteries. The sending of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles is the beginning of a new era in the history of the world. At the Responsorial Psalm we said: “Lord send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.” Indeed, through Pentecost, Jesus is renewing the face of the earth. And the Church is the renewed face of the earth. We say this because the Church is the new family of God. It is the family of the redeemed. It is made up of people whose sins are forgiven. It is composed of people who have been transformed into children of God. The Church is the new creation.

And this world which is constantly in fear is truly passing away. It is tired and old. It is to this world that we are sent by Jesus: “As the Father sent me, so I send you.” He gives us the Holy Spirit so that we may go forth into the world and preach the Gospel. The Church is founded by Jesus and Christ’s Holy Spirit, given to the Church in a permanent manner, acts in her as a powerful force; the Holy Spirit inspires and directs the Church in the preaching of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit enables the Church to carry out in the world to the end of time the redemptive and sanctifying work of Christ. The only way for the world to be renewed is by receiving the Gospel and by receiving the Holy Spirit. It is only the Holy Spirit who can heal the wounds of sin. Only he can renew our strength. Only the Holy Spirit can wash away the stains of sin. Only he can melt the stubborn heart and will. Only he can melt the frozen heart. Only the Holy Spirit can warm our cold and hardened hearts. What the world needs is the Holy Spirit. And we are sent to the world to offer it the Gospel and the Holy Spirit.

Let the world burn…not with the fires of terrorism, but with the fire of love coming from the Holy Spirit. Let us ask the Lord to embolden us with the Holy Spirit so that we may spread the fire of his love to all the earth. The fires of terrorism are spreading rapidly. We have to work more aggressively to fight fire with fire: the fire of terrorism, we must fight with the fire of the Holy Spirit. Let us spread the gospel of love and forgiveness. Let us allow the Holy Spirit to transform us and the world. Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth! 

Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

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