Pentacost Sunday

Today's Mass Readings


“Peace be with you.”
Notice what Jesus does immediately following those words—he “showed them his hands and his side.” It is as if he were saying to them—and to us—‘See what this gift I am giving you has cost me! It comes from my love for you! It is the precious gift of the Holy Spirit. Its first effect is the forgiveness of your sins, your guilt.

Freedom from our sins and guilt is not something we accomplish. We allow and welcome the Spirit of Jesus to accomplish it in us.

“… the experience of the Spirit is bound up with our fundamental liberation. For every time we come up against an aspect of our interior bondage, whether it be new or already well known to us, we have to open ourselves to him who is our free environment, just as dew does not hide from the rays of the sun but allows itself to be absorbed by them.”

Living in the “free environment” that is the Holy Spirit means we learn to let go of all those ‘yes-but-I-am-not-good-enoughs’ and put our weight on the gracious, subtle action that is at work in our lives! It is a consent to being human, a creature of God, and letting God take up the slack!

We want to attend to the movements of the Holy Spirit within us exercising our faith in the deep effect God’s mercy is gradually having in our lives. It means coming to love ourselves with God’s love! This is a liberation from looking at ourselves too much—even for good purposes and looking more and more at Him, whom we love, whom we seek, who has first loved us and knows us well!

Our deep response is to be that of the disciples—who rejoiced when they saw the Lord!
Daily, we want to pray, ‘Come, Holy Spirit!’

In today’s Sequence we hear:
“You, of comforters the best”
“In our labor rest most sweet”
“Solace in the midst of woe”
“Heal our wounds, our strength renew”
“Wash the stains of guilt away”

Signs of the Holy Spirit at work in us are things like these: when we can finally say something we could never articulate before, or when we discover fear fading from our hearts, or when we find ourselves taking risks we never had the courage to take, or when we offer forgiveness we had not intended to offer, etc. Our faith tells us that there is something more than chance; it is God’s Spirit working in and around us.

What great love God has for us in giving us His Holy Spirit!

Reflection by Fr. Xavier Nacke, OSB

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