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Meditation of Archbishop Pizzaballa: Pentecost Sunday, Year C

Published: June 06 Thu, 2019

June 9, 2019

Pentecost Sunday, Year C

The Gospel we read on this Solemnity of Pentecost, which concludes Easter Time, opens for us some valuable glimpses on the life of the Church in history, after which the Risen Lord ascends to heave and returns to the Father’s house.

We highlight some elements of this Gospel passage.

The first we find in verse 26, where Jesus tells the disciples that the Spirit will teach them everything and remind them of all that He said.

The Holy Spirit is therefore a teacher, but Jesus seems to say that He is not a teacher like others.

In what sense?

First of all, He is a teacher Who remains with us always (Jn 14:16).

Any other teacher, upon teaching the disciple everything he knows, lets him go his own way. But this is not so for the Holy Spirit.

He always stays, because He is concerned about teaching a relationship, of which He Himself is a guarantee and possibility.

He doesn’t have to teach us about things but must teach us to live, must be a presence of the Father and the Son in us.

He stays because staying is His way of loving us.

As a matter of fact, Jesus goes on to say that whoever receives the Paraclete, who stays with us always, become His and the Father’s abode (Jn 14:23).

The task of the Spirit, therefore, is to enable us to be God’s dwelling-place.

Alone, we cannot do it, it is not in our ability and strength.

The more we leave room for the Spirit’s work in us, then the more God indwells us, sanctifies us, or makes us like unto Him.

The Spirit is a different teacher from every other teacher also for another reason.

While all teachers teach notions, ideas, the Spirit performs another activity.

He doesn’t teach but does things in such a way that what we already know becomes ours, becomes life, is interiorized by us.

Because it is not enough to know that Jesus died; we must believe that Jesus died for me.

It’s not enough to know that God is love; I must believe that God loves me, exactly as I am.

This is the work of the Spirit, who does not teach from the outside but convicts us from within, transforms the Word into experience.

This also is an activity that we cannot do alone.

It is also interesting that Jesus says the Spirit reminds people of something they already know.

Man already knows how good and beautiful is the life for which he’s created: sin, however, has caused him to forget it, and has driven him to listen to other teachers, to follow other ways that have turned out to be ways of death.

The Spirit, which the Father gives us, has the task of always reminding us of the hope we are called to, so that, out of forgetfulness, it does not happen that we live below the beauty contained in our call.

Finally, it is important to emphasize that Jesus prays for us to the Father, so that the Father may give us the Spirit (Jn 14:16).

The presence of the Holy Spirit in us, therefore, is something profoundly linked to the mystery of Christ’s prayer, to His deep desire, to the good that He has for us.

But it is also something related to our prayer, to our opening to Him.

The life of a Christian is a life that the Holy Spirit increasingly urges, it is the life of those who have discovered that only the Spirit can give him/her meaning and fullness.

To ask for the Spirit is the prayer par excellence, and the Spirit is the “good thing” that the Father gives to those who ask (see Lk 11:13).

+Pierbattista