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Bulletin: June 9, 2019

Pentecost Sunday


As the Gospel of John depicts the Last Supper, Jesus leaves the disciples with these words before they rise from the table: “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you” (John 14:26). Jesus knows that he will be arrested that very night. He knows the kind of death he will suffer the next day, Good Friday. We might think Jesus tells his disciples to watch for the coming of the Holy Spirit because he simply runs out of time to leave them complete instructions about how to build the church. Rather, Jesus tells his disciples to look forward to the Spirit because the ongoing work of teaching and guiding is what the Spirit does best. The Advocate is not a handme-down replacement for the risen Jesus; the Holy Spirit is fully God, with mysterious power to help us grow in holiness.


Jesus speaks grandly of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. He promises that the Spirit will teach “everything.” Everything! Jesus’ words reveal the completeness of God’s plan. God, who could have chosen any method in the world to offer salvation to humanity, insists on acting as a unity of three persons in perfect complementarity. This is a profound and delightful mystery. We praise the one, undivided God, whose very existence is a communion. Contemplating God, we feel the awesome power of community. God prefers existing in relationship, and so must we. We recognize the sacred call to interdependence. This glorious feast of Pentecost invites us to consider all the people we know— and maybe especially the ones we tend to fear, reject, ignore, or dread—and ask the Spirit to teach us how to form better relationships with them. Even if we have tried before and failed, we boldly ask again. As Jesus says, the Spirit teaches everything.

Today’s Readings: Acts 2:1–11; Ps 104:1, 24, 29–30, 31, 34; 1 Cor 12:3b–7, 12–13 or Rom 8:8–17; Jn 20:19–23 or Jn 14:15–16, 23b–26

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