On Resurrection Day, Jesus breathed on His devotees, a gesture quirky in itself but jam-pack with propose for our gala of Pentecost today.
Gospel( Read Jn 20:19 -2 3)
Today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus surprised the adherents “on the evening of that first day of the week” by to be provided in their midst without utilizing a entrance( fastened “for fear of the Jews” ). We wonder if He must be given to soothe them down a bit, because He said, twice, “Peace be with you.” We can imagine how startled they only. He demo them His curves, in case they reputed He was a spirit. Then, Jesus leaved the apostles an stupefying commissioning: “As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.” What had begun three years earlier with a call to “Follow Me”( Mt 4:19) culminated in a sending out. Their work was to be a continuation of the deduce apostleship of Jesus( “apostle” means “one sent”; assure Heb. 3:1 ). If we have paid attention to the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ companionship with these men, we have seen clear indicates that He intended to give the apostles authority to build His Church and do His labor. We are affected by the scope of their mission but not really surprised by it. However, after declare His directive to them, Jesus steps out of the expected with an action that can only be described as strange: “He breathed on them and said,’ Receive the Holy Spirit.’” Don’t caused friendlines with this verse rob it of its startle evaluate. Why on earth do Jesus breathe on His apostles?
To understand this moment, so different from anything we’ve more considered to be in any Gospel account, we have to go back to the beginning, to the first time divinity breathed on humanity. At Creation, “the LORD God worded adult of dirt from the grind, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and mortal becomes a living being”( Gen 2:7 ). There is no clearer epitome than this of God’s desire to impart His own life into soldier, who is built in His image and likeness. Adam and Eve’s fall into sin defrauded them( and us) of their inheritance as God’s children, but the entire floor of salvation reveals God’s plan to restore and refresh “Peoples lives” in us. So vivid is this image of God’s breath in humanity that it seems again at the time of the prophet, Ezekiel. God’s people, Israel, were in exile in Babylon; they had been ruined by their enemies as penalty for their covenant unfaithfulness. They represent all of us who are spiritually dead and absolutely forlorn. However, in His unrelenting determination to restore His parties, God says to Ezekiel( whom He announced “son of man” ): “’Son of man, can these bones live? ’ And I answered,’ O LORD God, Thou knowest.’ Again He said,’ Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O cool bones, hear the word of the LORD…Behold, I will compel gulp to enter you, and you shall live…and you shall know that I am the LORD’”( Ez 36:3 -6 ).
When we know this Old Testament history, Jesus breathing on the apostles on Resurrection Day no longer seems so curious, does it? In this gesture, He begins the divinization of humanity, always God’s intention for His children. The restoration of humanity begins, once again, with the wheeze of God. For the apostles, this unique act enabled them to truly be Jesus’ continuing presence on earth. They will forgive or retain blasphemies, an action reserved for Divinity. What about the rest of us? Will the sigh of God blow on us, too? The other interprets will help answer this question.
Possible response: Father, thank You for enjoying us enough to share Your own breath with us–a marvel beyond description.
First Reading( Read Acts 2:1 -1 1)
At His Ascension, Jesus told the apostles not to start on their assignment of realizing followers of all nations until they received “power when the Holy spirit has come upon you”( Acts 1:8 ). This helps us see that Jesus’ activity of breathing on them on Resurrection Day was an start into the Holy spirit , not the fullness they were meant to have. For that, Jesus had them is looking forward to the Jewish feast of Pentecost, nine days later. Pentecost originally had been a harvest festival in the Jewish liturgical calendar; gradually the committee is also became associated with a monumental gala of God’s giving of the Law to His parties at Mt. Sinai, when they had been delivered from slavery in Egypt. The Regulation, or Torah, yielded the people a way of life that would distinguish them from all other families on earth. To seal the covenant, God actually came down on top of Mt. Sinai, attested in burn, smoking, resound, an earthquake, and the roaring voice of a cornet( verify Ex 19:16 -1 9 ). It was quite the fireworks show!
We need to know this history, because it helps us understand why Jesus waited until Pentecost to send the Holy Spirit on His Church. Drawing on all the similarities with God’s visit to Mt. Sinai, the Jews assembled there in Jerusalem that day could comprehend these recommendations as the “harvest” of God’s people, ready when you are, because of Jesus’ achieved project, to receive God’s new Ordinance of Love, to be written not on stone tablets but in the hearts of men by the Holy Spirit. Precisely as God’s descent on Sinai signified the formation of Israel as a person, the swoop of the Holy spirit on Pentecost meant the formation of Jews and Gentiles into the Church, the new Israel.
Of course, the events on Pentecost evoke the deep symbolism of jazz and attack in all regions of the Old Testament , not only at the Mt. Sinai covenant. At Creation, “the wind” of God( literally, God’s “breath”) levitated over the waters of the earth, is prepared to do God’s bidding as He generated forth soul( Gen 1:2 ). The “wind” of God also blew apart the water of the Red Sea so God’s beings could escape from their foes, the Egyptians. As for attack, recall that God firstly appeared to Moses, the deliverer of His people, in a fiery thicket. Also, the people had to follow a pillar of fire to make their way home to the Promised Land.
The more we are all aware of the imagery representing God in the Old Testament, the more we understand the ancestry of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost as an outburst of fulfilled hopes! See that the tongues of ardour remained over each of the apostles. They will now be God’s presence in His Church, leading His people on their wander dwelling to heaven. To the working day, the bishops of the Church, “whos doing” successors of these apostles, wear hats( mitres) in the shape of a glow of attack. They are commemorated out as our pillars of fuel, resulting us on our pilgrim expedition dwelling to heaven.
What about the consequences of all this amazing action? The apostles were miraculously able to communicate the Gospel in the foreign tongues of the Jews assembled there. All male Jews were required to make a yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem for this feast; that explains why “there were devout Jews from every nation” there. This immediately conjures its own history of Babel( ascertain Gen 11:1 -9 ). There human pride made a give at heaven by build a pillar up to God. The solidarity of men( started possible by one conversation) was perverted to accomplish an evil terminate. God broke it by mystifying the one word into many. Now, in the fullness of time, God concedes the human solidarity for which soul longs( because he is built for that) but which he cannot naturally achieve. The Holy Spirit creates superhuman harmony, represented at the meeting by all men being able to hear, in their own language, the mighty makes of God. This time, God contacts down to guy rather than somebody trying to climb up to God.
So , now that we understand something of the background of Pentecost, we can ask whether all the rest of us who aren’t apostles will likewise have a share in this breath of God. The refute is YES. In lyrics not included in today’s reading, Peter reactions the “what about us? ” question: “Repent and be christened every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your blasphemies; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”( Acts 2:28 ). Jesus wants to breathe on all of the americans and thus replace the face of the earth.
Possible response: Lord Jesus, may Your Church ever live in the joy of Pentecost, in awe of Your power and presence.
Psalm( Read Ps 104:1, 24, 29 -3 0, 31, 34)
Today’s psalm celebrates the life-giving power of God’s Spirit. Written long before the Day of Pentecost, it nevertheless summarizes both the past and the future. “If you take away their gulp, they perish and return to their dust”( Ps 104:29) remind us of the Fall, at the beginning of man’s story. Disobedience led to death: “You are dust, and to dust you shall return”( Gen 3:19 b ). “When You send forth Your Spirit, they are created, and You restore the face of the earth”( Ps 104:30) describes our celebration today. The macrocosm, weary in guilt, is in dire need of refreshment and renewal. Maybe we are, very. The carol response is the perfect Pentecost prayer: “Lord, send out Your Spirit, and revamp the face of the earth.”
Possible response: The carol is, itself, a have responded to our other construes. Read it again prayerfully to make it your own.
Second Reading( Read 1 Cor 12:3 b-7, 12 -1 3)
The Gospel showed us God’s desire to once again breathe His life into soldier. The Book of Ordinance showed us that the knack of God’s breath, the Holy Spirit, entered the stream of human history on the Day of Pentecost, producing superhuman results. In the message, St. Paul causes us a theological thoughtfulnes on the meaning of all this story. He explains that none of us can profess Jesus as Lord without the Holy Spirit. Our Christian faith is, itself, a toil of God’s breath, the Spirit, in us. That Feel gives to believers a great variety of spiritual offerings, starting diversification of service in His Church. However, because it is “the same God” Who produces this diversity, “we ii” “one body.” St. Paul’s emphasis here is on the unity created by the Holy Spirit. Let’s consider this for a moment.
Unity is the distinguishing characteristic of the Trinity–three Parties in One. Man, created in the image and likeness of God, is hard-wired for unification, for communion with both God and others. Sin smashed this peace( recall the immediate fracture of Adam and Eve’s relationship with God and one another in the Garden ). Babel showed us that when men actually cobble together unity, their pride crouches them towards a perverted use of it. God’s descent on Mt. Sinai was for the purpose of forming one nation for Himself out of numerous tribes. He afforded them one lane to love and one ordinance to live by. In time, that commonwealth fractured, and large areas of it completely disappeared. Men cannot create peace for themselves, although their nerves long for it. Fittingly, solidarity in His Church was the one thing for which Jesus cried as He faced His Passion: “I…pray…that they may all be one…so that the world may believe that You have routed Me”( Jn 17:20 -2 1 ).
On Pentecost, God sent His breath to create mysterious harmony. It was knowledge immediately amongst the first alters, and it is a constant manifestation of God’s breath in His Church, 2000 years later. The life of Jesus in us, the Holy Spirit, contains us in His one Body. Unity at last–alleluia!
Possible response: Lord Jesus, forgive me when I rebel against unity–wanting my own style, isolating myself. Let Your Spirit lead me to the unity for which my heart longs.
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