Gospel of St. John 20: 19-23
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
For eight days, the Apostles have been sad and somewhat distraught. Last Sunday, they saw Jesus rise and ascend to heaven. They will see him no more and they know it. They are sad and concerned; they don’t know how things will go for them now.
Today, they meet in their same place, says the Evangelist, probably in the upper room, to talk about Jesus, his teachings, and his words during his first appearance. Jesus had arrived among them telling them: “Peace be with you” and after He spoke these words, He breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit, the One who will teach you all things.” Yet they still lacked confidence and felt afraid. They really did not know how they would fulfill the mission that Jesus had given to them.
So while they are pondering sadly over these matters, they hear a great wind which fills the whole room and they see tongues of fire resting above the heads of each one of them. It is Pentecost! It is the Holy Spirit they are hearing and seeing. This Spirit transforms the Apostles, fills them with boldness, love and courage. Yes, they are ready to proclaim Jesus, his life, his death and his teachings. (Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11)
Most of us also received the Holy Spirit, first at our baptism and later at our confirmation. Do we remember? Do we still think about this? Do we desire the Spirit of God? Do we pray to the Holy Spirit? When I was a child in boarding school, every Monday morning before class, we sang a prayer to the Holy Spirit. I still sing this prayer to myself because I love it and for this week of Pentecost, I want to share it with you.
Oh Holy Spirit, soul of my soul, I love you.
Guide me, direct me, console me, speak to me,
Tell me what I need to do, give me direction.
I promise to surrender myself to all that you ask of me,
And to accept everything that you allow to happen to me.
Only let me know your will.
Sister Pierrette Chevrette, sp