By Fr. Andrew Kelly
PENTECOST SUNDAY OF EASTER – MAY 19
There is an impression that Jesus’ Holy Spirit belongs to an elite, select group that happens to hold the offices of pope, bishop, priest or deacon. The reason for the impression is that sometimes people who hold those offices act as though it was true.
But Pentecost Sunday’s Gospel (John 20:19-32) certainly corrects any false impressions about who has and who does not have Jesus’ Holy Spirit.
Jesus breathed the Spirit indiscriminately upon all the assembled disciples:
“‘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.’”
Thus Jesus’ gift of peace is for all believers. Jesus’ mission of forgiveness and reconciliation is the work of all believers.
The sign that Jesus’ Holy Spirit has truly taken control of the believing community is when all Jesus’ baptized disciples are taken as seriously as popes, bishops, priests and deacons are.
Pentecost is about Jesus’ peace, forgiveness, reconciliation and mission reigning supreme within the entire believing community.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for May 19-26
1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13 or
Jn 20:19-23 or Jn 14:15-16, 23b-26