The risen Jesus breathes on us. Anointing us so with the Holy Spirit, he sends us to work with him in the evangelization of the poor.
The risen Jesus stands in the midst of his disciples. Never mind that it is dark and the disciples bolted the doors. First, he gives them the greeting of peace. Right afterwards, he reassures them that he is the same person they followed and with whom they had close fellowship. The one the rulers crucified, his side being pierced also with a lance. Then, he entrusts to them a mission. And that is why they receive the anointing with the Holy Spirit.
So, Jesus comes, in the first place, to give light and peace to the disciples. That is because they are afraid. And they surely have feelings of guilt and shame after they abandoned him when he needed them most.
Jesus shows up, in the second place, to strengthen the disciples’ weakening faith. Their Teacher is alive. He is with then again, in an even more wonderful way. Crucifixion, death, the tomb, cannot overcome him.
In the third place, that he is alive means that his mission will go on. And he keeps counting on them as his co-workers. Accordingly, Jesus sends his disciples as the Father has sent him.
The Father has anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and has sent him to announce the Good News to the poor. Jesus, in turn, shares with us his own anointing and mission. So, we cannot be followers of Jesus without having his anointing and without being his missionaries.
The anointing with the Holy Spirit is crucial.
We cannot even say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. It is the one Spirit also that brings about unity in diversity. Moreover, only by the Holy Spirit that we “Galileans” can speak of the mighty acts of Gods in different tongues. After all, “Galileans” means “good for nothing,” “not good enough to be prophets.”
And sharing in Jesus’ own anointing, we come to understand that we need not use the same language to bring the Good News. The Gospel and its proclamation is not the monopoly of any tribe, tongue or people.
Anointed with the Spirit as Jesus, we become instruments of peace, forgiveness, reassurance and the bringing together of all nations. They are poor, too, those in need of peace, forgiveness, reassurance and acceptance.
Come upon our gifts, O Holy Spirit, and make them holy, so that they may become for us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. With your anointing, make our love as infinitely inventive as his love (SV.EN XI:131).
20 May 2018
Pentecost Sunday (B)
Acts 2, 1-11; 1 Cor 12, 3b-7. 12-13; Jn 20, 19-23
Tags: A Vincentian reading of the Sunday readings, Ross Dizon