The coming of the Holy Spirit May 28, 2012 ^
By Sr. Marguerite Kelly, mfic
The coming of the Holy Spirit
Pentecost is actually the Greek name for “fifty days” or seven weeks, hence the name of the feast has been called the “Feast of Weeks.” It was a communal celebration of God’s abundant fidelity to the Jews in the giving of the land and its fertility. They were gathered to give thanks and have a share in the crops.
What we hear from the Acts of the Apostles is the account of the same fidelity of God to bring about a new crop and a new sense of the whole earth’s being a blessing place.
With the coming of the Holy Spirit there was to be no more serious sitting around. There was a kind of interior fire lit which had to be spread. People from various distant regions came, heard and were invited to listen and then return with that fire and that Spirit.
For the Jewish believers Pentecost was a harvest celebration. For the Christian community it is the celebration of God’s planting the Holy Spirit to bring about a harvest of planters. The more difficult aspect of our Pentecost is that there is no more serious sitting around. The Gospel of John presents a different picture of Jesus’ sending the Spirit and the results are the same. Instead of serious sitting, there is an even more serious sending. Paul writes it in our Second Reading more specifically. There is One Spirit which is to be made visible or manifested in different “works” and this Spirit is to produce “all of them in everyone.”
When God came looking for Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis, they were hiding, because they had denied who they were and lusted to be like God. When Jesus comes, in today’s Gospel, looking for His disciples who had denied who they were, He finds them hiding as well. It is Resurrection time and Jesus greets them with “peace” twice and then does two quite amazing things. He passes on to them the very mission He had received. Then He breathes upon them and offers them the same breath or Spirit that brought about order from the chaos as recounted in the same book of Genesis. He is telling them that as He was sent into the world to bring order into the lives of all, so they were as well, the incarnations of the Spirit who themselves are sent to bring order out of chaos. Whose chaos you order there will be order and those who retain their chaos as a way of living, their chaos is retained.
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