Read­ing Time: 14 minutes


We had already heard this Sunday Gos­pel read­ing on the Second Sunday of Pascha. In that con­text, we were led to reflect on belief and unbe­lief. In the con­text of the feast of the des­cent of the Holy Spir­it, this read­ing reminds us about the integ­ral con­nec­tion between the gifts of peace and for­give­ness and the action of the Holy Spir­it. Jesus greets his dis­ciples with the gift of peace. He then com­mis­sions them to con­tin­ue the work that he has begun, “as the Fath­er has sent me, so I send you.” As Jesus breathed the Holy Spir­it upon them, he sends his dis­ciples to con­tin­ue his work of recon­cili­ation through the for­give­ness of sins, guided by the Holy Spirit.

How do Chris­ti­ans under­stand the gifts and the oper­a­tions of the Holy Spir­it? As Paul noted in his First Epistle to the Cor­inthi­ans, the gifts of the Holy Spir­it are not for per­son­al aggrand­ize­ment. They are for the com­mon pur­pose. They are for ser­vice. They are giv­en for the good of all. How do you use yours? We must beware of those who force the gift of the Holy Spir­it on them­selves and on oth­ers. The dis­ciples hid them­selves for fear of the Jews. The Holy Spir­it came and dis­pelled such fear. We must ask God to take away from us the spir­it of fear, the spir­it of lying, the spir­it of injustice, the spir­it of cheat­ing, the spir­it of steal­ing, the spir­it of cor­rup­tion, the spir­it of par­ti­cip­a­tion in evil, the spir­it of false wit­ness, the spir­it of wicked­ness, the spir­it of idle­ness, the spir­it of lazi­ness, the spir­it of irre­spons­ib­il­ity, the spir­it of char­ac­ter assas­sin­a­tion, the spir­it of decep­tion, and oth­er evils. This is what the Holy Spir­it should do in us.

Fur­ther­more, we must cloth ourselves with the fruits of the Holy Spir­it as lis­ted in Gala­tians 5:22–23. Send forth your Spir­it, Oh Lord, and renew the face of the earth and of your chil­dren (cf. Ps 103). May the Holy Spir­it cre­ate in you a new enthu­si­asm. I wish you God’s spir­it always. Happy feast of the Holy Spir­it and happy new week. Sha­lom!

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