May 29, 2017
During the Easter season there is a golden thread of hope that runs through most of the readings. The Risen Christ whose beginning ministry was blessed by the Holy Spirit at his baptism, appears to the frightened apostles who are hiding behind locked doors.
As he stands in their midst, they are overjoyed. He says "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." Then he breathed on them and said to them "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." (John 20: 19-23) Thus His church was born.
Their fear turned into rejoicing. They are transformed as they go out to spread the Good News that the Risen Christ is the Messiah. Peter exhorts all to repent and receive the Holy Spirit. Those that accepted were baptized and thousands were added that day.
The Holy Spirit was essential to the ministry of Christ and the Apostles. This is even more true today for us as many Christians prove unfaithful to and forgetful of their baptismal vows. Pope Benedict issued this invitation in November of 2008..."Let us rediscover dear brothers and sisters, the beauty of being baptized in the Holy Spirit; let us be aware again of our baptism and confirmation as sources of grace that are always present."
Pentecost gives us all a chance to choose again to be renewed in the power of the Holy Spirit, that golden thread of hope. We are invited to "Ask, seek, knock...how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11: 5-13)
Won't you ask and be transformed as the early apostles were?