Today’s Gospel: John 20:19-23
On this Pentecost Sunday, we have much to celebrate in three gifts Jesus gives to us: peace, joy and the Holy Spirit.
Peace. Shalom was a typical Jewish greeting. But as in other Gospel passages, Jesus clarifies that His peace is “not as the world gives” but as “I give to you” (John 14:27). The peace of Jesus is a gift of salvation, eternal life and blessing that only the Messiah can give.
Joy. And of this peace, the disciples rejoice! Their sorrow turns into joy. “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
The Pascal Mystery is at the center of our faith, and it is indeed the source of our peace and joy. Christ suffered His Passion and died for our sins. He endured the worst, but through it, He conquered death and sin, and He rose from the dead. Jesus lives forever! Sorrow indeed turns into joy! What cause for celebration!
But our Faith doesn’t end there.
Holy Spirit. “Christ’s Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit” (CCC 731). Just as the Father sent Jesus to complete His mission of suffering, dying and rising, so Jesus sends His disciples to complete their mission of ongoing evangelization. “‘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’” (21-22).
After that first Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is with the disciples always, and they “proclaim ‘the mighty works of God’ (CCC 1287; Acts 2:11). The Church is born, and remains active and alive in this world over 2,000 years later.
Likewise, Jesus sends all of us to complete our mission, the ongoing mission of Christ. And just as He breathed the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, He gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit through Baptism and Confirmation.
Some of us have big missions of evangelization, and some of us have much smaller missions within the walls of our home. But no matter how big or how small, our mission is important to Jesus, and He sends us forth to do it! He gives us His peace, His joy and His Spirit, so we can bear much fruit in whatever mission He calls us to do. And that, my friends, is worth celebrating today!
What mission is God calling you to accomplish for Him? How can you call upon the Holy Spirit to help you bear fruit in your mission? How have you experienced Jesus’ peace and joy in your own life?
Lord Jesus, we thank You and praise You for the gifts that You lavish upon us. We especially thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit, who guides us in all the aspects of our lives. We pray that our hearts can always be open to receiving the Holy Spirit and all the gifts You desire for us, that we may fulfill our mission in the way that is most pleasing to You. Amen.
Copyright 2014 Sarah Damm