Gospel Meditation

Pentecost Sunday
“Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’” Then, he said it again. And then, “he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” Jesus brings peace, and he brings the Holy Spirit. Peace, in fact, is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Today, on this feast of Pentecost, we remember the dramatic outpouring of the Holy Spirit that came upon those first apostles and the peace that came along with it. But we do more than remember. We also celebrate the presence of this same Spirit in our midst.

Through the sacrament of baptism, every Christian receives the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in his or her soul. Thus, the gift of peace is already ours! The question is whether or not we have really begun to appreciate and utilize this most precious gift. Like the apostles who had locked themselves up “for fear of the Jews,” we too are capable of imprisoning ourselves in our own anxieties. We fret and worry about the future, about our sufferings or our disappointments, and too often let these concerns stifle the true peace that Jesus offers us.

But the Church today urges us to rejoice and to step out in faith like the apostles who left their fears behind them. Peace not only alleviates our fears, it also frees us to live our faith to the fullest, to have the courage to take risks, and to leave our comfort zone for the sake of the Gospel. This is what we are called and, not only that, empowered to do. Anything less is a kind of spiritual poverty we bring upon ourselves. God has given us the gift of himself, present and available in every moment, every place, and every situation. May we recognize this most wonderful gift and give thanks with grateful hearts.
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