Remaking or renewing the face of the earth was and is the work of the Spirit.

When ‘the grain of wheat had fallen into the earth and died’ (John 12.24), there came out the new life.

That death of the grain of wheat was on Calvary and on the cross. All through the earthly story of Jesus we see the Spirit of God; at the Annunciation, in the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth they two and John the Baptist in the womb of Elizabeth, all three were filled with the Spirit, at the baptism of the Lord, the Spirit leading Jesus to the wilderness where he was tempted, on and off at every juncture Jesus being filled with the Spirit, and finally the Spirit of God raising Jesus from the dead.  The Spirit moves in and with Jesus all the time and Jesus gave that Spirit to the disciples and through them to us. He is given to us to be the Advocate, the Paraclete, that is, the consoler and the life-giver to us.

In today’s event of sending as reported by John, Jesus breathes over the disciples. Thus the Spirit is the breath of Jesus, the breath of God. It was this same breath, the same Spirit that gave life to man in the story of creation. It is the same Spirit that lives in us, vivifying and leading our soul in its earthly sojourn and on to its heavenly destiny. The prophesies of Jesus and his mission are being worked out and fulfilled on earth through the centuries by the working of the Spirit.

The day of Pentecost was not the first appearance or presence of the Spirit. In fact, it was the day when humanity finally came to know the official and purposeful disappearance of Jesus who was made man and became one with us and like us. Then onward the invisible Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of God, is in charge and it is this Spirit that takes the Church, takes us, to her mission and to our work of witnessing. This Spirit enables us to walk through the Way that is Jesus, to know the Truth that is Jesus, and to attain the Life that is Jesus.

Just like Jesus said that he was in the Father and the Father was in him and that they are not two but One, and that we are in him and he is in us, so too the Spirit is in Jesus and Jesus is in the Spirit and they are not two but one, and the Spirit is in us and we are in him. This is the meaning of the last words of the Risen Jesus who said it at the time of his final disappearance,

“Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age”! (Matthew 28.20)

May the Spirit of God be with you!

Fr. George