Pentecost Sunday (June 9, 2019)

We have just heard Jesus announce the new creation.

As God breathed life into Adam, so Jesus breathes new life into his disciples – the gift of the Holy Spirit. As they breathe in the Spirit, they are able to receive and give forgiveness.

St. Luke describes the coming of the Spirit in more dramatic fashion. As the Spirit descends as tongues of fire on the disciples, they begin to make bold proclamation of the Good News in an astounding way.

The same Spirit is given to each of us at our Baptism, and his presence has been strengthened in Confirmation. St. Paul points that that we are one in the Body of Christ because we all share the one Spirit.

Each of us has special gifts that have been given to us as a way of manifesting the Spirit’s presence in us. Our gifts are given, not for our own good, but for the good of others; when we use our gifts for others, we witness to our oneness in Christ. No one’s gift or ministry or work is more important than anyone else’s; all are needed for the unity of the community of the Church.

Each of us is important because each brings a gift or talent or way of working that no one else can bring to the group. We all lose something when an individual person’s gifts are not welcomed or used in the community.

That’s why a welcoming attitude is so important in the Church community. It’s also why forgiveness is so important among us. We need one another in order to experience the full wonder of God’s love for us.

As we celebrate this feast of new life, our breathing can be a graced reminder. The Spirit is as close to each of us as our very breath, taken deeply into our lungs thousands of times every day, a constant life-giving force.

As we exhale, the Spirit’s power directs us outward to our mission - spreading the love, peace and forgiveness we have inhaled from the risen Lord Jesus.

May we breathe deeply today!