Hard to believe, but we are in the last days of the Easter Season – this coming Sunday is Pentecost. Although the season of Easter is over, the Church celebrates three important Masses over the next 3 Sunday’s. Pentecost, The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity and the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). We are also down to our last fruits of the Holy Spirit – modesty, self control and chastity.
Going back to last Sunday, our Arch-Diocese does not celebrate Ascension Thursday any more, they’ve chosen to move it the Sunday following. Because of that, we missed a beautiful Gospel that would have been read for the 7th Sunday of Easter. It is one of the longer discourse’s Jesus gives in John’s Gospel and Jesus gives it on the night of the last supper. From John 17: 11B-19…
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
“Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.
When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
and I guarded them, and none of them was lost
except the son of destruction,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world
so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, and the world hated them,
because they do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the evil one.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”
Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. Do you remember the start of John’s Gospel? In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word was the truth. Jesus is the Word, thus Jesus is God, thus Jesus is the Truth…keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one. Can there be a more appropriate way to prepare for Pentecost Sunday than to reflect on the words of this Gospel. The Holy Spirit is the result of the love that the Father and the Son have for each other. The Holy Spirit is the PURE LOVE that exists between God and Jesus. Reflect on this Gospel – consecrate yourself in the Truth. And as you reflect on this Gospel, pray, as Jesus asked the Father, that WE MAY BE ONE, just as they are one. I love the gift Christ is giving us in that statement. We too can have the same pure love that exists between God and Jesus. With that true, pure love – and only in that true, pure love – can we experience the Holy Spirit and all the gifts and fruits that that pure love will GROW in us.
Spend time this week reading the daily readings of our Mass, or better yet, try to get to Mass. If it’s been a while (and it has for me now), make time to get to confession before you celebrate the Pentecost. Be prepared and be willing to except this most precious gift from God.
Do something great for our Lord today.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid. (Why do I state this daily? Look at Paul’s final words to the presbyters for the Church at Ephesus today…
But now I know that none of you
to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels
will ever see my face again.
And so I solemnly declare to you this day
that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you,
for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.
Regardless of the outcome, we have to bear witness to the Gospel of Christ – Be Not Afraid.
Jesus, I trust in You.