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Pentecost Sunday C: June 5, 2022

John 20: 19-23

Fr. John Tran

Now that we come to the end of Jesus relationship with the disciples during his earthly life, we might well wonder if they had heard anything; or if they had observed anything at all about who Jesus was, what he did, and what he said. They had been with him all through his public ministry; they had seen his cures and miracles; they had heard him teach; they had even heard Jesus say that he was the kind of messiah who would suffer and die, and yes, rise from the dead. But in many ways, they did not seem to have noticed any of this when the crucial moment came. It seems like they missed the point.

Or does it? What about us? Aren’t we often the same way? Why? It isn’t that we don’t believe all that Christ taught, or what we have experienced of the power of the his grace in the sacraments and our daily lives. It is perhaps that our faith has been stunned by the realization of what has taken place. Salvation is more than we hoped for, we who live our days in this world. We plod along every day hoping for the best. In a sense, we are paralyzed and live in fear, or at least with dull senses. Perhaps this is much of what the disciples experience.

Of course, after the Holy Spirit was sent as Jesus left them, what a difference it made! They learned that an apostle is bigger than life because of the One who sends him or her. And that means you and me. We can ask what am I to do or what am I to say as Moses or many of the disciples did. But really, nothing matters, because Jesus and his Spirit have sent us; and Jesus has said. “Open your mouth and I will speak...As my Father sends me, so I am sending you.”

We long for wholeness and holiness thinking of them as something that concerns only me and God. We forget that holiness and mission is not just the act of taking possession of things in the name of God, but of imbuing all reality with God’s life. For that we must open our hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit - the one Jesus sent to us to sustain us and our mission. Whether we are rich or poor, learned or unlearned - there is so many people and things to be filled with God’s life. Even those who are sick or incapacitated in some way show the features of Christ; there is a ‘usefulness of uselessness.” After all, the most useful hours that Christ spent on this earth were on the cross, though they were utterly useless from a practical point of view.

All these realities are brought to us by the Holy Spirit. Let us open ourselves to whatever ‘use’ the Spirit may give us.

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