Pentecost Sunday

The apostles were frightened in the upper room.  They heard from Peter and John about the empty tomb, but they were afraid.  We are a bit like them as we believe in the resurrection but still often feel intimidated by difficulties and opposition.  Now Jesus reveals Himself to His disciples and their fear melts away in joy.  Jesus’ gift of peace to them was not for themselves only.  Peace is the effect of Jesus’ presence in the Church, His lasting peace to us.

In the beginning of human existence, God breathed into Adam.  By blowing on His followers, the risen Jesus now signals the beginning of a new human existence.  A new way of being human has come into existence in Him, for He is the  Word of God become human; in Him, human nature has  been renewed by being united to God.  Jesus Himself is human life made new.  Through His death, resurrection and ascension, He now draws us into His divinely renewed human existence.  He breathes on His disciples: He gives them the Spirit of God.

The disciples expected resurrection and a new creation at the end of time.  Now they see Jesus already risen, and they themselves begin to experience  a new creation.  The wind that will blow in the new heavens and new earth already begins to gust in their minds and hearts.  Through them Jesus will now continue His mission of bringing reconciliation with God to people everywhere.

We are called to be disciples of Jesus.  We have received the Holy Spirit at Baptism, Confirmation, and every time  we receive Holy Eucharist.  May Jesus breath the Spirit of God once again on Pentecost Sunday.  May the breath of God help us to bring the fire of God’s love to all we meet this day and everyday.

God Bless

Msgr. Powell

 

 

Seventh Sunday of Easter

Jesus concludes the Last Supper in prayer.  Now that His mission is about over and He is going to return to His Father, He reflects on His mission.  He has glorified His Father by carrying out His mission, which was to reveal His Father to men and women and thus give them eternal life.

Jesus’ work has borne fruit.  Through His words, His disciples have finally come to understand Jesus as the one sent by God—this is the key component of Christian faith in John’s gospel.  This does not mean their faith is perfect, or that they will never waver.  Therefore Jesus prays for them. He asks the Father to protect and care for them just as He has cared for them while He was with them.

The purpose of Jesus’ mission is to give us eternal life.  This life is not just the fact that we live forever; more importantly it is a new quality of life for the believer.  Eternal life is God’s own life.  He wants us to share this life because He loves us.  Jesus describes this life as “knowing” the Father and the Son.  This knowing is a personal, experimental union with God, an experience that is entered through the gift of faith when we surrender to God’s incomparable love.

 

God Bless.

Msgr. Powell

Sixth Sunday of Easter

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Though Jesus taught His followers many things throughout His public ministry, they were unable to understand much of what He said because the heart of His truth was revealed in His death and resurrection.  Jesus told His disciples that the role of the Holy Spirit is to “teach you everything and remind you of all that I have said to you”.  The Spirit of truth will continue the teachings of Jesus in light of the transforming reality of Jesus dying and rising.  The Spirit will enable believers to experience Jesus days, years or centuries after His earthly life.  The effect of the Spirit’s work within the believer is a profound sense of peace, well-being, and confidence, the kind of peace that the world cannot give and that does not go away in the midst of life’s most difficult struggles.  It is the greatest gift imaginable.

Just as Jesus promises to send His Holy Spirit, so He promises to send us His peace.  These two gifts are really one.  The Hebrew idea of peace was not merely lack of strife but completeness, wholeness.  Through the Holy Spirit, we are being make whole in the image of Christ.

God Bless!

-Msgr. Powell