Pentecost Sunday

The solemnity of Pentecost celebrates the completion of our Easter season.  The Spirit is given anew to those who believe in order that we might complete God’s work on earth which is bringing us into union and communion with God and with each other.  Here again are a few excerpts from the catechism on the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the life of the Church.           

 736 By this power of the Spirit, God’s children can bear  much fruit.  He who has grafted us onto the true vine will make us bear “the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”129  “We live by the Spirit”; the more we renounce ourselves, the more we “walk by the Spirit.”130  Through the Holy Spirit, we are restored to paradise, led back to the Kingdom of heaven, and adopted as children, given confidence to call God “Father” and to share in Christ’s grace, called children of light and given a share in eternal glory.131 

     

737 The mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion in the Church, which is the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit.  This joint mission henceforth brings Christ’s faithful to share in his communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit prepares men and goes out to them with his grace, in order to draw them to Christ.  The Spirit manifests the risen Lord to them, recalls his word to them and opens their minds to the understanding of his Death and Resurrection.  He makes present the mystery of Christ, supremely in the Eucharist, in order to reconcile them, to bring them into communion with God,, that they may “bear much fruit.”132 

           

738 Thus the Church’s mission is not an addition to that of Christ and the Holy Spirit, but is its sacrament: in her whole being and in all her members, the Church is sent to announce, bear witness, make present, and spread the mystery of the communion of the Holy Trinity (the topic of the next article): All of us who have received one and the same Spirit, that is, the Holy Spirit, are in a sense blended together with one another and with God.  For if Christ, together with the Father’s and his own Spirit, comes to dwell in each of us, though we are many, still the Spirit is one and undivided.  He binds together the spirits of each and every one of us,…and makes us all appear as one in him.  For just as the power of Christ’s sacred flesh unites those in whom it dwells into one body, I think that in the same way the one and undivided Spirit of God, who dwells in us, leads all into spiritual unity.133 

           

739 Because the Holy Spirit is the anointing of Christ, it is Christ who, as the head of the Body, pours out the Spirit among his members to nourish, heal, and organize them in their mutual functions, to give them life, send them to bear witness, and associate them to his self-offering to the Father and to his intercession for the whole world.  Through the Church’s sacraments, Christ communicates his Holy and sanctifying Spirit to the members of his Body.

                                                                                             Fr. Michael Phillippino
                                                                                  SaintJohnChurchMiddletown.com

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