Pentecost Sunday

We celebrate this Sunday a wondrous and unprecedented gift of God—“the Spirit of truth” given to us. This Spirit of truth God gives is relational. This Spirit of truth changes us—through the Spirit we share a common identity as the Body of Christ and take up a common mission to proclaim the Gospel by the sheer goodness of our lives. The Spirit enables us to live with one another in a new way: with “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity,” etc. The Spirit propels us to engage with the world in a new way: we “testify” to the “mighty acts of God” through the very way that we live. The truth God gives transforms us and, through us, transforms the world

According to this gospel, both the Spirit and the disciples testify to Jesus. What is this testimony? It is the revelation that Jesus is of the Father, is the divine Son. Furthermore, this gospel says that the Spirit glorifies Jesus by testifying. So then do we. What is this glory? It is Jesus himself who is the visible Presence of the Father. Like the Spirit of truth, when we testify we also glorify.

This Pentecost commemoration does not simply recall a past event, but celebrates what God is doing within us now. Our daily living is to “testify” to the Spirit of truth who dwells within us. We often think of “truth” in terms of “truths”—dogmas to believe. The gospel leads us to something far more dynamic, relational. The Spirit who dwells in each of us enfleshes within us the “mighty acts of God.” Truth is being faithful to the identity and mission offered us. Truth is what is of God.
If we are to be living icons of the Spirit of truth dwelling within us, then the good choices we make daily testify to this divine indwelling. Simply put, Pente¬cost invites us to act like God! Although our testimony is not about ourselves—it is about the risen Jesus as the Son of God present among us and bringing us to salvation—in one respect it truly is about ourselves. Through the indwelling Spirit we are made members of the Body of Christ. We are living icons of the Spirit of truth, and living icons of the risen Jesus who dwells within and among us.
If we are to exude the fruits of the Spirit, we must be willing to die to ourselves. We cannot love another if we do not give of ourselves to others. We cannot have joy if we are turned in on ourselves. We cannot have peace if we are distracted by getting and doing only what we want. We cannot have patience if we do not respect the dignity of others. We cannot have gentleness if we do not see the need in others. We cannot have self-control if we don’t put the good of others first. We cannot have any of these fruits if we do not live the wondrous mystery of the Spirit dwelling within us. Come, Holy Spirit!

Adapted from Renew International Prayer Time Cycle A