Jesus breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.” John 20:19-23
Pentecost 8th Easter Sunday
In this world change is the only thing that is constant. As long as the world rotates on its axis, there is always time. And as long as we are in time, there will always be a before that would eventually change into what is after.
The Holy Spirit is the catalyst of change. Wherever and whenever the Spirit is, change happens. In the world’s beginning the Spirit hovered over the chaos and creation happened. At the annunciation, He also came upon the Blessed Virgin so that Mary became mother of Jesus who simultaneously became human. At Pentecost He descended upon the frightened apostles so that they became fearless preachers of the resurrection. In every mass the Holy Spirit is called upon the bread and wine so that they are transubstantiated into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit came to us at Baptism with God the Father and the Son. He came to us in the fulness of His power when we received the sacrament of confirmation. Thus, we are rightly called temples of the Holy Spirit.
However, it is very possible that we could stifle Him or even totally evict Him from our lives. How do we know if this is happening to us? St Paul talks about the fruits of the Holy Spirit. If we do not see these fruits in us, then the Holy Spirit is deprived an active role in our life.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatian 5:22-23.
The secret to developing an abundant crop of spiritual fruit is found in John 12:24: ”Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Jesus taught his followers to die to self and the desires of the old, sinful nature. Only in this way can new life spring forth, bringing with it much fruit.
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