Scripture Reflection for Pentecost
Posted on 20. May, 2012
Come, Holy Spirit
The dawn of creation, as depicted in the Book of Genesis (and understood in the Catholic tradition, not a factual account but a beautiful depiction of profound truths) was one of harmony. But the exclusion of God by human disobedience to God’s will wrecked this harmony. As depicted in Genesis, the human person experiences alienation, not only from God. Human relations can be so problematic that we speak to each other in ways that confuse rather than enlighten.
Jesus restored the loving connection between God, man and the whole of creation by his unreserved obedience to his Father’s will and by his unwavering love of his human brothers and sisters. With the promise to his disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit, Jesus promised a new beginning, a new creation. He brought this about by his suffering Death, Resurrection. He completed the work of redemption by sending the Holy Spirit. By the gift of the promised Holy Spirit, the mission of Jesus and his abiding presence in human history, becomes a world wide phenomenon until the end of time. The good news of our redemption has been proclaimed from that first Pentecost to this day. The gospel message is understood and accepted by people of different cultures and different languages and throughout the ages. The presence of the Holy Spirit is a unifying, reconciling presence. Today’s readings paint this picture for us. The power of the redemptive mission of Jesus is seen in the spread of the Gospel. The early bearers of the gospel discovered, in a very short time, how many diverse peoples readily embraced the Good new of Jesus. The language of the Gospel spoke a language the peoples readily understood in the known world of the Roman Empire and on its margins. It bridged all man made borders.
Catholic missionaries continue the work of bringing good news and the healing presence of Jesus to every corner of the known world today. There are many painful occasions of division to be endured before the old order of disharmony gives way to the reconciling presence of Jesus in the oneness of the Apostolic Church. Remarkably, billions of believers, scattered throughout the known world, are united in a communion of faith and life in Jesus under the guidance of the Apostles’ successors. This is not without that pain of repairing the sad divisions we make. Under the influence of the love of God, poured out on the world by the Holy Spirit, the new creation will continue to take root until the end. “The Holy Spirit is God eternally giving himself, like a never-ending spring he pours forth nothing less than himself”. (Pope Benedict XVI) Can you be part of this new creation? Can we pray, and act out the prayer of today’s Mass: Veni Sancte Spiritus: Come Holy Spirit?