Reflection for Sunday, May 23, 2021: Pentecost.
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|You Also Testify|The fire that was ignited in the hearts of those who experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on that first Pentecost has continued to illuminate the world until now. The effects of that Holy Spirit's presence in the hearts and lives of believers down through the ages have been revealed in a multitude of ways. "There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit," St. Paul says.|But the gift that grounds all the others appears in John's gospel, 15, 26-27. There, on the night before he goes to his death, Jesus tells his gathered disciples that the Father will send the Advocate, the Spirit of truth. The Advocate's mission among them is to "testify to me." The Holy Spirit is a witness to Jesus, representing the continued presence on earth of Jesus who returns to the Father. Yet, the mission to testify rests not with the Spirit alone, for Jesus adds, "And you also testify." |Beginning on Pentecost itself, the Acts of the Apostles chronicles the record of a continuing bold proclamation of Jesus, Risen Savior and Lord on the part of those who received the Holy Spirit. This boldness is captured in the words of Peter, as he speaks before the Sanhedrin which has forbade him and the others to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. Peter replies, "It is impossible for us not speak about what we have seen and heard." |To speak about what one has seen and heard. To testify. To give witness. This is the fire that lies at the heart of all the gifts the Spirit lavishes on the Church. The gifts themselves, the ordinary as well as the more extraordinary, testify to the Risen Jesus who lives in the through the Church, in the lives of those who "have seen and heard," who have experienced his presence.|On this Pentecost Sunday, let us implore the Holy Spirit to awaken our slumbering hearts and remove the blindness from our eyes, so that we may see and hear Jesus, Risen Lord, and that we might be given, through the Spirit's manifold gifts, the grace to more boldly proclaim him.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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