Today’s Gospel: John 20:19-23 – Pentecost Sunday
It is my belief that those gathered in the Upper Room had suffered two injuries: their faith had been badly damaged by the events of the brutal crucifixion; and they experienced what many of us have experienced in one way or another: love lost.
Jesus who had spoken about love and had demonstrated it in so many ways… Jesus who told the Apostles and disciples of His great love for them…. that Jesus was gone. Or was He? “Yes of course He’s gone. They saw Him die.” And yet…and yet there was those apparitions, or whatever they were.
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, what did they have left? They had faltering, clinging HOPE.
What is hope? Hope is a form of faith that holds on to things unseen. And in that hope they held on to, Christ came to them in today’s Gospel. But we also know that on this birthday of the Church, Christ sent His Spirit. He did so because His desire, the Master’s desire, was for the followers to set the hearts of others on fire. And so the fire of the Holy Spirit was given to each of them. Not one central fire, but a fire unique and ‘tailored’ to the recipient.
The Spirit which flew over the waters and helped create the world is the same Spirit who came over the heads of the followers and initiated the Church.
Today all things are possible because the Spirit is the Spirit of creation. The world can be created anew if we but ask for Him.
And then, you too may speak in tongues. You too may learn to love again. You too may learn to forgive.
Am I open to receive the gifts of the Spirit? Or do I have some sort of retardant on me?
Come Holy Spirit. Rest on me, and fill the hearts of your faithful.
Copyright 2017 Deacon Tom Fox