domenica 4 giugno 2017

«Accipite Spiritum Sanctum»

Today is Pentecost Sunday, the conclusion of Easter Time and the fulfillment of the Paschal Mystery. Which means that Jesus died and rose again to send us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit could be considered the best fruit of Easter. Taking our cue from the readings of today’s liturgy, let us try to see how important is the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church.

Considering the first reading, we see that the Holy Spirit speaks all languages. If you have read the editorial of the Mission Newsletter Nasara, I laughingly wrote that “the Holy Spirit speaks Farsi.” Of course, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit spoke all the languages of those present in Jerusalem. It means that the Holy Spirit re-creates the unity that had been broken at the Tower of Babel. There men thought that unity could be the result of their efforts; Pentecost shows that unity is a gift of God.

The gospel explains to us the reason of that. Division is a consequence of sin; the Holy Spirit is the forgiveness of sins: “Receive the Holy Spirit (Accipite Spiritum Sanctum). Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” So, with the coming of the Holy Spirit, who cancels our sins, the unity of the human race is restored.

In the second reading, we find other two aspects of the Holy Spirit. He is at the origin of our faith: “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” Only the one who has received the Holy Spirit can recognize the divinity of Jesus Christ. Faith is not a human initiative; it is a gift of God. This remark helps us to understand in what sense we should interpret that the Holy Spirit unites human tongues: not in the sense that, from now on, all people speak the same language, but in the sense that all Christians profess the same faith.

The second reading also tells us that the Holy Spirit is at the origin of all charisms and ministries in the Church. The Church is a body with different members, united among them, but each one with a different gift and a specific role. The Holy Spirit generates unity, without destroying differences; indeed, enhancing them. Unity is not synonym of leveling; it coexists with variety and multiplicity. To be united does not mean to be all the same; there is true unity when we are different from each other. What could seem impossible to men, is possible thanks to the Holy Spirit.

PS: Your homilist will take some days of rest. He will be back, God willing, on the first Sunday of July. God bless!