Receive the Holy Spirit
As we journey toward Pentecost, we call to mind the “fruits of the spirit” – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
In our tradition, the daily scriptures we begin reading now are preparing us for what is to come: the Feast of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended on the followers of Jesus, and the Church was born. The passages we read from John’s Gospel are commonly referred to as Jesus’ farewell discourse, given to his disciples immediately before he is arrested and taken to be crucified. He speaks of how we will relate to him, and what is the pattern of the believer’s life. All of it is grounded in community and expressed in terms of how we love.
The setting of today’s Gospel (John 20:19-23) is Jesus’ last discourse to his disciples, at the table with them the night before he died. Jesus promises to send the Spirit, an Advocate on their behalf, the Spirit of truth. Read the passage, and note that the intimate workings between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are how the disciples are drawn into this by the power of the Spirit at work in their lives. On their part, the disciples must receive what the Spirit declares to them and testify on Jesus’ behalf.
Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the Earth.
Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.