Today the Church celebrates the solemnity of Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus.
The first reading from Acts of the Apostles occurs on one of the great pilgrimage feasts, Pentecost, fifty days after Passover. Saint Luke has the Holy Spirit coming on Pentecost to announce the beginning of a new Israel. The Church will be universal in scope. People of every nation will be invited to join this new People of God.
In the second reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans, one of the things Paul means by "living in the flesh" is that self-sufficient, indeed arrogant stance that says, "I can make God save me by how well I keep the Law, or do good deeds, or do religious practices." On the contrary, by baptism into Christ's death and resurrection, we receive the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead. There's no way we could deserve such power, but it is ours to accept, which is to live in the spirit.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus says "As the Father has sent me, so I send you." We are sent into the world but overflowing with the peace and joy of the Spirit. We are called to trust that the Spirit will be with us in whatever suffering, confusion or anxiety we encounter, and when we do not know what to do or say, we can trust in the simplicity of the prayer "Come Holy Spirit".
~ Fr. Emanuel Torres-Fuentes