Pentecost Sunday, 9th June

John 20:19–23

When it was evening on that day, the first
day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were
locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said,
"Peace be with you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and
his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to
them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send
you." When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
"Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are
forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

Commentary

Pentecost crowns Christ’s work amongst us.
The Holy Spirit comes to abide with the Church directing and effectively aiding
its leaders to preserve, explain and spread the gospel of hope and love which
Christ had brought on earth.

This same spirit helps and aids each member
of the Church to live a life of holiness by following the teaching of Christ
and by helping his fellowmen to do likewise.

The Holy Spirit also fives each one of us
spiritual gifts, but these unlike the gifts that we receive at Christmas meant
for personal use and enjoyment. These spiritual gifts are for the purpose of
service to one another.

The Bible teaches that every redeemed
person is given at least one gift by the Holy Spirit. There are varieties of
gifts. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common
good. St. Paul likens the Church to our physical bodies where each member has a
unique function yet all parts work together (1 Corinthians 12:14-21).

It is the Holy Spirit that chooses who gets
which gifts, and He it is that dispenses them at His good pleasure and
discretion. We are not to covet what someone else has or be envious of that
person. Not every believer will have the same gift, and given for the same
purpose. Yet, it is a sin not to use the gift the Holy Spirit has given him or
her.

St. Paul say that the purpose of these
spiritual gifts is, “for equipping of the saints for the work of service, to
the building up of the body of Christ” (Eph 4:12). In other words, God has
given each one of us a task to do, and supernatural gifts to equip us for it.
If we fail to perform this task we face censure before the “judgement seat of
God”. Since the gifts are given to us for the common good, so we are not to use
them selfishly.

How to recognize our gifts? First, we need
to become aware of the fact the God has given each of us at least one spiritual
gift.

Next the discovery of our spiritual gift
should be a matter of careful and thoughtful prayer.

The third step in finding out our spiritual
gifts involves a clear knowledge of our own self and my abilities. We may find
that we like doing certain things at which we are good at.

Today’s feast day also recalls to our minds
the infinite love of the Blessed Trinity for us finite, mortal men and women.
At the same time it shows us the part played by each of the divine Persons in
the eternal plan to share with us the perfect peace and the unending happiness
which they enjoy in their heavenly kingdom.

May the Holy Spirit today fill us with
gratitude for all that God has done us. Amen.