“So as the Father has sent me, so I send you!”
The exclamation point is mine, for I can only imagine that Jesus said this emphatically, that all who are baptized in to his life and death might go forth and proclaim the Good News of his Resurrection!
Today the Catholic Church marks the end of the Easter season. For seven weeks we have celebrated that which provides eternal life for all who believe in Jesus Christ. It is a time of celebration, in fact, many see this day; Pentecost, as the birth day of the early Church. This is the day that God gifted humanity the fullness of the Holy Spirit – the Advocate that Jesus promised – who will be with us always, until the end of time.
The word Pentecost meaning “fiftieth day” comes from the Greek word “Shavuot” or the Spring Harvest Festival of the Israelites which was going on at the time of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus, who until receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit were unable to go out and preach. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts received they were made strong, courageous, knowledgeable and inspired and they immediately went forth teaching all nations the Good News of the Risen Jesus.
We, too, are sent. We have received the Holy Spirit in our Baptism and Confirmation and like the disciples we grow in wisdom, knowledge and strength that we might teach others about Jesus by both our words and our actions. How often do you pray to the Holy Spirit? How often do you call upon the Holy Spirit to strengthen your faith or your ability to share with others the story of Jesus? When you are fearful, frustrated, doubtful or troubled, do you ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life and be with you? Think about that. You might do well to invite the Holy Spirit and open your heart and your mind to receive the gifts offered.
So let us celebrate as a People of God the great news of the Resurrection and the incredible gift of eternal life with God through the Risen Jesus. Let us celebrate by loving others with the love that was gifted to us and let us make every effort to reflect that love to others as we proclaim Jesus Christ.
One of the easiest prayers to learn and remember is this:
Veni, Sancte Spiritus
Come Holy Spirit!