18 May Pentecost Sunday
Dear friends in Christ,
In Advent we cry out: “Come, Emmanuel!” It is our cry to Christ the Lord, who is Emmanuel, God-with-us. Now, at Pentecost, our cry turns to the Third Divine Person: “Come, Holy Spirit!” We make this cry because of Jesus’ promise at the Last Supper: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, the Holy Spirit.”
Why do we need “another Advocate?” Jesus came from the Father with the mission of taking away the sin of the world. Now the mission is done and he goes back to the Father. Pentecost is the move and transition from the life and ministry of Jesus to the life and ministry of Jesus’ Mystical Body, the Church. The Holy Spirit is needed and given to the Church as another Advocate to help bring Jesus’ work to its fulfillment.
Jesus reveals the essence of the Godhead, the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the Creed, we proclaim the Father as the Creator, the Son as the Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit as the Sanctifier. Now is the era of the Holy Spirit to maintain and bring the whole world, created by the Father and re-created by the Son, to its goal.
The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church. The word “spirit” means breath. St. Peter talks about the Holy Spirit as “a gentle and quiet spirit” that is central for our self-understanding and also for our understanding of God.
For Christians, Pentecost is a celebration of the presence of the Spirit in our lives, and a thanksgiving for our membership of the Church. Almost every book in the New Testament speaks about the action of the Spirit guiding the Church and guiding each of us closer to God. The Holy Spirit brings unity and cuts across all ethnic, social and political boundaries to make the Church universal and Catholic.
St. Paul said, “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” Pentecost is the on-going work of God that makes the Church a sacrament of salvation for all the world.
“Come, Holy Spirit!”