OMELIE / Omelie EN
28 mag 2023 28/05/2023 – Pentecost Sunday - year A
28/05/2023 – Pentecost Sunday - year A
Reading 1 ACTS 2,1-11 Psalm 103 Reading 2 1COR 12,3b-7.12-13 Gospel JN 20,19-23
Jesus fulfills the promises with which many times He gave hope to His disciples, above all during the Last Supper, and again the first time in which He had appeared to them after rising from the dead. He had promised the Paraclite, to whom He had assigned different names: Councillor, Spirit of truth, Spirit of testifying, Power from above. Every definition has different nuances and shows the many roles of this divine Presence, a live Presence and at work in the Church and in the soul of every believer in Jesus.
Saint Luke is describing the new coming with simple and significant images. The Holy Spirit is touching every disciple as a flame from a fire, a fire which is not burning, just like the one of the bush in front of the splendour of which Moses had removed his sandals and had covered his face. Every apostle of Jesus’s becomes the carrier of this divine fire and is transformed by it. With its coming Ezekiel’s prophecies are fulfilled, who said: “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances” (36:26-27).
The apostles have seen right away the change made by the Spirit. The fear has disappeared from them, has vanished the hesitation to talk about Jesus in public and suggest Him as the Lord even to those who had pressed for Him to be condemned to death. Those who listen to them come from different nations and cultures, but they all understand that the message they hear announced can be welcomed by them as the Only One which is actually needed. It is really true that the Holy Spirit testifies for Jesus and makes those who receive it testify as well.
The Holy Spirit has not changed the way it behaves. Nowadays too it wants to testify for Jesus and moves the hearts welcoming it to talk about Him and put Him above all philosophies, all traditions, every interest. If nowadays there is so much hesitation to mention Jesus in public this happens because there is a lack of Holy Spirit! We Christians need a new Pentecost, a new coming of the Spirit upon us and all the Church. It is easy unfortunately to find “Christians” who avoid using the name of Jesus, unable to talk about Him with courage and joy, even inside the Church herself. What do we need to do to receive the Holy Spirit? The apostles had gathered in assiduous and constant prayer for nine days.
The coming of the Spirit is not a single event: it can come gradually, or even come more than once to give us every time different gifts or to prepare the disciples to undertake different activities and duties. Today’s page from the Gospel is showing us Jesus at the moment in which He was about to breathe the Holy Spirit on the apostles. This has happened in the dining room during His first coming after the resurrection. The apostle were still unable to function out of fear, and that fear had not disappeared with this first appearance of Jesus. However, they have received from the Lord the Spirit who made them able to forgive the believers’ sins.
Forgiving sins is God’s exclusive characteristic. Jesus had done so many times, demonstrating that God was giving Him, a man, all His love and His authority. Now Jesus transfers to the apostles this very authority thanks to the Holy Spirit present in them. They will need some time to think about this gift of Jesus’s, before becoming convinced. When at Pentecost the same Spirit comes again upon them in a different, public, way, then they will talk to the crowd too about the need and the possibility to receive forgiveness for the sins.
This happening, the forgiveness of the sins, is the best goal for men. Jesus has talked about it when he has given His blood to drink during the Supper, highlighting in this way that this was the reason for Him dying on the cross, for the offer of His life. Now He gives the Spirit so that forgiveness may reach everyone. Everyone can enjoy the forgiveness, but not automatically. The same Spirit will tell the apostles who can or cannot be reconciled with the Father. The criteria to decide will not be about the will of the apostles themselves, but about following the Gospel or no, welcoming Jesus or not, the Son of God sent by the Father to save us.
The salvation is always intended as salvation from sin: the prophets had announced it in this way, so much so that even Zechariah, at his son John’s birth, had described his mission as the preparing of the way for the Lord coming “to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins”. The sins are the obstacle to the peace and joy, communion and happiness of men. The Father’s love reaches its goal when we are freed from sin; Jesus comes in the world and dies for this and He rises from the dead to give us the Spirit, which lets us enjoy the communion with God and among us.
Come, Holy Spirit!