John 20: 19-23
Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands and side.
The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.”
Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?”
Just because Easter season is drawing to a close doesn’t mean that there isn’t still loads to celebrate!
Do you realise that you, - yes YOU - have been commissioned by Jesus – yes, JESUS! Jesus himself has sent us! Jesus has sent us out into the world to proclaim his love and peace to all. But how can we do this? We don't have to worry about that - because along with that command, Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit.
"Receive the Holy Spirit" he said as he breathed on them in the Gospel and us – every single day of our lives. By receiving the Spirit, the church receives Jesus. This means, that we, - we are the church – receive Jesus' own capacity to make God present, bringing light to the world. In Acts 2:1-11, we hear the effects of the Holy Spirit – that’s not just for those in the upper room that day – they are for us today!
But what able forgiving and retaining sins? That’s what Jesus does through the priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and through our faith in Him. Without knowing God’s merciful love though, how will people ever know that there is forgiveness when we fall short and that when we know Him, we have guidance and encouragement on the path of life. That’s where we are needed. Through the Holy Spirit let us make Him known!
Salesian Cooperator & Lay Chaplain
Come, Holy Spirit, like on that first Pentecost day!
Fill our hearts, so that we can fulfil your commission - may we be bringers of your peace, your joy, your mercy and your love to our world today.