Newsletter – PENTECOST – 19th May 2024

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Reading I: Acts 2:1-11Psalm: Ps 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
Reading II: Gal 5:16-25Gospel: John 20:19-23

Overall Theme: Pentecost is a high point in the Church’s liturgy because it is the culmination of Christ’s mission through the gift of the Holy Spirit who breathes life into the Church.

Summary of the Readings:

First reading: The feast of Pentecost is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai fifty days after the Passover. Similar imagery of fire and wind are exhibited in the coming of the Holy Spirit as He imparts the New Covenant. Like an inversion of the Tower of Babel, all the scattered people of Israel come back and can understand the apostles who are established as the new patriarchs of the New Israel. The passage underscores the Church’s fundamental purpose of fostering reconciliation between God and our fellow man, thereby necessitating the Church’s international quality and unification under the pope.
Psalm: There are themes of recreation that detail the Spirit moving over the waters in Genesis. He breathes new life into all creation through the gift of eternal life.
Second reading: The notion of “flesh” transcends merely bodily desires but also comes from the spirit. A more precise definition is a fallen human nature devoid of the grace of God.
Gospel: This passage is often called the Johannine Pentecost, as Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles for the power to forgive sins. This is a recapitulation of the Levitical priesthood where the people of Israel would confess their sins so that the priest could determine the proper sacrifice to offer (cf. Leviticus 5:5). By the Apostles’ administration of the sacraments, the Holy Spirit comes forth upon us in an ongoing Pentecost. It is a profound truth that the ascension of the Incarnate Lord paves the way for the Spirit’s arrival, enabling us to partake in the divine life of God through the grace bestowed in the sacraments.
Practical Application: Consider contemplating why baptizing a soul is a greater miracle than raising someone from the dead. Ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit in your daily tasks so that they may be elevated by His grace.

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