Thứ Bảy, 3 tháng 6, 2017

JUNE 04, 2017 : PENTECOST SUNDAY

Pentecost Sunday 
At the Vigil Mass
Lectionary: 62

Reading 1GN 11:1-9
The whole world spoke the same language, using the same words.
While the people were migrating in the east,
they came upon a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there.
They said to one another,
"Come, let us mold bricks and harden them with fire."
They used bricks for stone, and bitumen for mortar.
Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city
and a tower with its top in the sky,
and so make a name for ourselves;
otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth."

The LORD came down to see the city and the tower
that the people had built.
Then the LORD said: "If now, while they are one people,
all speaking the same language,
they have started to do this,
nothing will later stop them from doing whatever they presume to do.
Let us then go down there and confuse their language,
so that one will not understand what another says."
Thus the LORD scattered them from there all over the earth,
and they stopped building the city.
That is why it was called Babel,
because there the LORD confused the speech of all the world.
It was from that place that he scattered them all over the earth.

Moses went up the mountain to God.
Then the LORD called to him and said,
"Thus shall you say to the house of Jacob;
tell the Israelites:
You have seen for yourselves how I treated the Egyptians
and how I bore you up on eagle wings
and brought you here to myself.
Therefore, if you hearken to my voice and keep my covenant,
you shall be my special possession,
dearer to me than all other people,
though all the earth is mine.
You shall be to me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.
That is what you must tell the Israelites."
So Moses went and summoned the elders of the people.
When he set before them
all that the LORD had ordered him to tell them,
the people all answered together,
"Everything the LORD has said, we will do."

On the morning of the third day
there were peals of thunder and lightning,
and a heavy cloud over the mountain,
and a very loud trumpet blast,
so that all the people in the camp trembled.
But Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God,
and they stationed themselves at the foot of the mountain.
Mount Sinai was all wrapped in smoke,
for the LORD came down upon it in fire.
The smoke rose from it as though from a furnace,
and the whole mountain trembled violently.
The trumpet blast grew louder and louder, while Moses was speaking,
and God answering him with thunder.

When the LORD came down to the top of Mount Sinai,
he summoned Moses to the top of the mountain.

The hand of the LORD came upon me,
and he led me out in the spirit of the LORD
and set me in the center of the plain,
which was now filled with bones.
He made me walk among the bones in every direction
so that I saw how many they were on the surface of the plain.
How dry they were!
He asked me:
Son of man, can these bones come to life?
I answered, "Lord GOD, you alone know that."
Then he said to me:
Prophesy over these bones, and say to them:
Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones:
See! I will bring spirit into you, that you may come to life.
I will put sinews upon you, make flesh grow over you,
cover you with skin, and put spirit in you
so that you may come to life and know that I am the LORD.
I, Ezekiel, prophesied as I had been told,
and even as I was prophesying I heard a noise;
it was a rattling as the bones came together, bone joining bone.
I saw the sinews and the flesh come upon them,
and the skin cover them, but there was no spirit in them.
Then the LORD said to me:
Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man,
and say to the spirit: Thus says the Lord GOD:
From the four winds come, O spirit,
and breathe into these slain that they may come to life.
I prophesied as he told me, and the spirit came into them;
they came alive and stood upright, a vast army.
Then he said to me:
Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.
They have been saying,
"Our bones are dried up,
our hope is lost, and we are cut off."
Therefore, prophesy and say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them,
and bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

Thus says the LORD:
I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.
Your sons and daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
your young men shall see visions;
even upon the servants and the handmaids,
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
And I will work wonders in the heavens and on the earth,
blood, fire, and columns of smoke;
the sun will be turned to darkness,
and the moon to blood,
at the coming of the day of the LORD,
the great and terrible day.
Then everyone shall be rescued
who calls on the name of the LORD;
for on Mount Zion there shall be a remnant,
as the LORD has said,
and in Jerusalem survivors
whom the LORD shall call.

R. (cf. 30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and glory,
robed in light as with a cloak.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
How manifold are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you have wrought them allC
the earth is full of your creatures;
bless the LORD, O my soul! Alleluia.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Creatures all look to you
to give them food in due time.
When you give it to them, they gather it;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.R/ Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
If you take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2ROM 8:22-27
Brothers and sisters:
We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now;
and not only that, but we ourselves,
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
we also groan within ourselves
as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
For in hope we were saved.
Now hope that sees is not hope.
For who hopes for what one sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts
knows what is the intention of the Spirit,
because he intercedes for the holy ones
according to God's will.

Alleluia
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 7:37-39
On the last and greatest day of the feast,
Jesus stood up and exclaimed,
"Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink.
As Scripture says:
Rivers of living water will flow from within him who believes in me."

He said this in reference to the Spirit
that those who came to believe in him were to receive.
There was, of course, no Spirit yet,
because Jesus had not yet been glorified.


Pentecost Sunday 
Mass during the Day
Lectionary: 63
Reading 1ACTS 2:1-11
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem.
At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,
but they were confused
because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded, and in amazement they asked,
"Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?
Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?
We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,
inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,
as well as travelers from Rome,
both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,
yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty acts of God."

Responsorial PsalmPS 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
R. (cf. 30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
How manifold are your works, O Lord!
the earth is full of your creatures;
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD be glad in his works!
Pleasing to him be my theme;
I will be glad in the LORD.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
If you take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Brothers and sisters:
No one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; 
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.

As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

Sequence — Veni, Sancte Spiritus
Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.
You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul's most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;
In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!
Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend;
Give them virtue's sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end. Amen.
Alleluia.

Alleluia
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, "Peace be with you."
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
"Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained."


Meditation:  "They were all filled with the Holy Spirit!"
Do you know and experience in your own life the gift and power of the Holy Spirit? After his death and resurrection Jesus promised to give his disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit. He said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit! (John 20:22) Jesus knew that his disciples would need the power of the Holy Spirit to carry out the mission entrusted to them. The gift of the Holy Spirit was conditional upon the ascension of Jesus to the right hand of the Father. That is why Jesus instructed the apostles to wait in Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49). Why did they need power from on high? The Gospels tell us that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit when he was baptized at the Jordan River:
"And John bore witness, 'I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him... this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit'" (John 1:32,33; Mark 1:8; Matthew 3:11).
"And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness... and Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee" (Luke 4:1,14).
Just as Jesus was anointed with the Spirit at the beginning of his ministry, so the disciples needed the anointing of the Holy Spirit to carry out the mission entrusted to them by Jesus. The Holy Spirit is given to all who are baptized into Jesus Christ to enable us to live a new way of life - a life of love, peace, joy, and righteousness (Romans 14:17). The Holy Spirit fills our hearts with the love of God (Romans 5:7), and he gives us the strength and courage we need in order to live as faith-filled disciples of the Lord Jesus. The Spirit helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26), and enables us to grow in spiritual freedom - freedom from doubt, fear, and from slavery to our unruly desires (2 Corinthians 3:17; Romans 8:21). The Spirit instructs us in the ways of God, and guides us in living according to God's will. The Spirit is the source and giver of all holiness. Isaiah foretold the seven-fold gifts that the Spirit would give: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2).
The gift of Pentecost - the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the spiritual gifts and blessings of God - are made possible through the death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus. After his resurrection Jesus "breathed" on his disciples and gave them the Holy Spirit. Just as God breathed life into Adam, so the gift of the Holy Spirit is an impartation of  "new life" for his people. With the gift of the Holy Spirit a new creation begins. God recreates us for his glory. Jesus' gift of peace to his disciples was more than an absence of trouble. His peace included the forgiveness of sins and the fullness of everything good. Do you want power to live a faith-filled life as a disciple of Jesus? Ask the Father to fill you with the power of his Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13).
Basil the Great (329-379 AD), an early church father, explains the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives:
"The Spirit restores paradise to us and the way to heaven and adoption as children of God; he instills confidence that we may call God truly Father and grants us the grace of Christ to be children of the light and to enjoy eternal glory. In a word, he bestows the fullness of blessings in this world and the next; for we may contemplate now in the mirror of faith the promised things we shall someday enjoy.  If this is the foretaste, what must the reality be? If these are the first fruits, what must be the harvest?" (From the treatise by Basil on The Holy Spirit)
The Lord Jesus offers each one of us the gift and power of his Holy Spirit. He wants to make our faith strong, give us hope that endures, and a love that never grows cold. He never refuses to give his Spirit to those who ask with expectant faith. Jesus instructed his disciples to ask confidently for the gift of the Spirit: "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:13).  Do you thirst for God and for the abundant life he offers through the gift of his Spirit?
"Lord Jesus, I thank you for the gift of Pentecost and for the new life you offer in the Holy Spirit. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and set my heart ablaze with the fire of your love that I may serve you in joy and freedom."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersThe Holy Spirit at Pentecost, by Leo the Great, 400-461 A.D.
"To the Hebrew people, now freed from Egypt, the law was given on Mount Sinai fifty days after the immolation of the paschal lamb. Similarly, after the passion of Christ in which the true Lamb of God was killed, just fifty days after his resurrection, the Holy Spirit fell upon the apostles and the whole group of believers. Thus the earnest Christian may easily perceive that the beginnings of the Old Covenant were at the service of the beginnings of the gospel and that the same Spirit who instituted the first established the Second Covenant."  (excerpt from Sermon 75.1)

SOLEMNITY OF PENTECOST
SUNDAY, JUNE 4, JOHN 20:19-23

(Acts 2:1-11, Psalm 104; 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13)

KEY VERSE: He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit" (v.22).
TO KNOW: The great harvest that Jesus promised (Lk 10:2) had begun at Pentecost, a feast which the Jews dedicated to the gathering and offering of the first fruits (Hb Shavuot, 50 days after Passover). The Christian feast of Pentecost, which occurs 50 days after Easter, marks the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples (Acts 2:1-4). In John's Gospel, the resurrection, ascension and the descent of the Spirit occurred on the same Easter Sunday. It is most likely that the disciples were gathered in the same upper room where the Last Supper had been held. But they were fearful that the emissaries of the Sanhedrin would come to arrest them. Upon seeing the Risen Lord, the disciples were overjoyed. Just as the breath of God created Adam, the first human being (Gn 2:7), Jesus breathed forth the Spirit creating the new people of God, the Church. Empowered by the Spirit, Jesus' disciples were sent forth to bring peace through the reconciliation of sinners. The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when he sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength so sorely needed by every Christian.
TO LOVE: In what ways has the Holy Spirit empowered my life?
TO SERVE: Holy Spirit, help me to bring peace and forgiveness to others.
NOTE: The outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost is called the birthday of the universal Church. Through the Spirit the Church realizes her call to preach the Gospel of Christ to the whole world. The Feast of Pentecost brings the Easter Season to a close. The double Alleluia at the end of Mass illustrates that. The Easter Candle is extinguished and moved to the Baptistery. The 90 Days are over. But our call to Mission is not. What gift of service have you received from the Holy Spirit and how well are you using it right now?

Prayer to the Holy Spirit
V. Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love. 
R. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.
V. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth
V. Let us pray --- Oh God Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise and to ever rejoice in His consolations, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.


Sunday 4 June 2017

Pentecost Sunday. Week III Psalter
Acts 2:1-11. Psalms 103(104):1, 24, 29-31, 34. 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13. John 20:19-23.
Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth — Psalms 103(104):1, 24, 29-31, 34.
‘Receive the Holy Spirit …’
Celebrating the feast of Pentecost, we ponder gifts of the Spirit. ‘There are many different gifts’ says Paul, ‘but always it is the same Spirit. There are many different forms of activity but it is the same God at work in them all.’
Looking at humankind’s achievements, we marvel at the ingenuity of the human mind. We recognise many beliefs, so many ways of living and are humbled by our singular place in it all. Travelling to places of different cultures we still see the work of the Spirit, inspiring growth and goodness.
We pray that in time we will see that everything has a place in this magnificent creation, that nothing is excluded, and that we need only accept the tilt and sway of life, knowing that true balance will be achieved in the workings of the Spirit.

ST. FRANCIS CARACCIOLO

“Zeal for Thy house has consumed me!”
Born in Villa Santa Maria, Italy on October 13, 1563, Francis Caracciolo was given the name Ascanio at his baptism.  His mother was a relative of St. Thomas Aquinas. He lived a virtuous life as a youth and seemed inclined towards a religious vocation. When he was 22 he contracted a form of leprosy which he begged God to cure him of.  He promised to follow what seemed clear to him as his calling to the priesthood immediately upon being cured.
He was cured instantly upon making the promise, and left immediately for Naples to study for the priesthood.  On his ordination he joined the confraternity of The White Robes of Justice, who were devoted to helping condemned criminals to die a holy death, reconciled with God.
Five years after he went to Naples, a letter was delivered to him which was in fact addressed to another Ascanio Caracciolo, a distant relative.  The letter was an appeal from Father Giovanni Agostino Adorno, of Genoa, to this other Ascanio to join him in founding a religious order. Reading the lettter he realized that the vision of Fr. Adorno was in total compliance with his own ideas for a religious institute and he interpreted this as a sign of God’s plan.
He responded to the letter and the two men spent a few weeks together in retreat to draw up the institutions and rule. The congregation was approved by Pope Sixtus V on July 1, 1588.
The congregation lives both and active and contemplaive life, perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament being one of the pillars of their life.  They work with the sick, poor, prisoners and as missionaries.  In addition to the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, they have a fourth which forbids them to seek or accept ecclesiastical honors.
Upon making his profession, Caracciolo took the name Francis in honor of the saint of Assissi. He was noted for his ardent devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, often being found in ecstasy, and frequently repeating the words of the Psalm, “Zeal for Thy house has consumed me.” He died of a severe fever on the eve of Corpus Christi in Agnone, on June 4 in 1608, with his oft-repeated words on his lips.  Those same words were found burned into the flesh of his heart when his body was opened after his death.
He was canonized by Pope Pius VII on May 24, 1807.

LECTIO DIVINA: PENTECOST SUNDAY (A)
Lectio Divina: 
 Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Mission of the Community
“Peace be with you!”
John 20, 19-23
1. OPENING PRAYER
 Lord Jesus, send your Spirit to help us to read the Scriptures with the same mind that you read them to the disciples on the way to Emmaus. In the light of the Word, written in the Bible, you helped them to discover the presence of God in the disturbing events of your sentence and death. Thus, the cross that seemed to be the end of all hope became for them the source of life and of resurrection.
Create in us silence so that we may listen to your voice in Creation and in the Scriptures, in events and in people, above all in the poor and suffering. May your word guide us so that we too, like the two disciples from Emmaus, may experience the force of your resurrection and witness to others that you are alive in our midst as source of fraternity, justice and peace. We ask this of you, Jesus, son of Mary, who revealed to us the Father and sent us your Spirit. Amen.
2. READING
a) A key to the reading:
The disciples were gathered together, and the doors were well closed. They were afraid of the Jews.
All of a sudden, Jesus stood in their midst and said: “Peace be with you!” After showing them the hands and his side, once again he said: “Peace be with you”! As the Father has sent me, I also send you!” And immediately he gave them the gift of the Spirit so that they could forgive sins and reconcile persons among themselves and with God. To reconcile and to construct peace! Behold this is the mission which they received and which endures up until today!

Humanity is lacking peace more and more: to put together the pieces of a disintegrated life, to reconstruct human relationships, broken because of the injustices committed and because of so many other reasons. Jesus insists on peace, and he repeats it several times! During the reading of the brief text of the Gospel of this Pentecost Sunday, we try to be attentive to the attitudes of Jesus as well as to those of the disciples, and to the words of Jesus which he pronounces with such solemnity.
b) A division of the text to help the reading:
John 20, 19-20: The description of the experience of the Resurrection
John 20, 21: the sending out: “As the Father has sent me, I also send you”
John 20, 22: The gift of the Spirit
John 20, 23: The power to forgive sins
c) The Text:
19 In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, 'Peace be with you,' 20 and, after saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord, 21 and he said to them again, 'Peace be with you. 'As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.' 22 After saying this he breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone's sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone's sins, they are retained.
3. A MOMENT OF PRAYERFUL SILENCE
so that the Word of God may penetrate and enlighten our life.
4. SOME QUESTIONS
to help us in our personal reflection.
a) What struck you most in the description of the experience of the Resurrection?
b) Which are the characteristics of the Mission which the disciples receive?
c) Which are the characteristics of the action of the Holy Spirit which Jesus communicates to us?
d) How important is all this for the life of our community today?
e) Jesus insists: “Peace be with you!” Which steps should I take to reconstruct the peace and the broken relationships among persons?
5. FOR THOSE WHO DESIRE TO DEEPEN MORE ON THIS THEME
a) The context in which the Gospel of John was written:
The text of the Gospel of John is like a very beautiful fabric, made with three threads of different colours. The three threads are so well combined with one another that it is not always possible to see when one passes from one thread to the other. (i) The first thread are the facts of the life of Jesus, which took place in the year thirty in Palestine, preserved in the memory of the Beloved Disciple and of many other witnesses (I Jn 1, 1-4). (ii) The second thread are the facts of the life of the communities. Because of their faith in Jesus and convinced of his presence, in their midst, the communities enlightened their life with the Word and the gestures of Jesus. That influenced the description of the facts. For example, the conflicts of the communities with the Pharisees towards the end of the first century indicate the way in which are described the conflicts of Jesus with the Pharisees. (iii) The third thread are the comments made by the Evangelist. In certain passages, it can hardly be perceived when Jesus finishes speaking and the redactor begins to knit in his own comments. (Jn 2, 22; 3, 16-21; 7, 39; 12, 37-43; 20, 30-31).
b) Comment on the Text:
John 20, 19-20: A description of the experience of the Resurrection
Jesus becomes present in the community. Not even the closed doors prevent him from being in the midst of those who do not recognize him. Even today, it is the same thing! When we are gathered together, even if all the doors are closed, Jesus is in our midst! And also today, the first word of Jesus, will always be: “Peace be with you!”
He shows the signs of the Passion on his hands and his side. The Risen Lord is the Crucified Lord! The Jesus who is with us in the community is not a glorious Jesus who had nothing in common with the life of the people. But it is the same Jesus who came on this earth and who bears the signs of his Passion. And today these same signs are found in the suffering of the people. They are the signs of hunger, of torture, of wars, of sickness, of violence, of injustice. So many signs! And in the persons who react and struggle for life, Jesus resurrects and makes himself present in our midst.
John 20, 21: The sending out: “As the Father has sent me, I also send you!”
From this Crucified and Risen Jesus we receive the mission, the same one that He received from the Father. And for us also he repeats: “Peace be with you!” The repetition confirms the importance of peace. To construct peace forms part of the mission. The Peace which Jesus gives us means much more than the absence of war. It signifies to construct a human, harmonious environment, in which persons can be themselves, with all that is necessary to live, and where they can live happy and in peace. In one word, it means to construct a community according to the community of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
John 20.22: Jesus gives the gift of the Spirit
Jesus breathed and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit”. And therefore, it is with the help of the Holy Spirit that we can carry out the mission which He entrusts to us. In the Gospel of John, the Resurrection (Passover) and the effusion of the Spirit (Pentecost) are one same thing. All takes place in the same moment.
John 20, 23: Jesus gives the power to forgive sins
The central point of the mission of peace is found in reconciliation, in the effort to overcome the barriers which separate us: “to those to whom you forgive sins, they will be forgiven and to those to whom you do not forgive them, will not be forgiven”. Then this power of reconciliation and of forgiving is given to the disciples. In the Gospel of Matthew, this same power is also given to Peter (Mt 16,19) and to the communities (Mt 18, 18). A community without pardon and without reconciliation is not a Christian community.
c)     To deepen more:
i) The action of the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of John
In Hebrew the same word is used to say wind and spirit. The wind has in itself a goal, a direction: North wind, South wind. The same for the Spirit of God (the wind of God) has in itself a goal, a project, which manifests itself in many ways in the works which the Spirit of God fulfils in creation, in history, and above all, in Jesus. The great promise of the Spirit becomes present in the prophets: the sight of the dry bones which become alive, thanks to the force of the Spirit of God (Ez 37, 1-14); the effusion of the Spirit of God on all people (Gl 3, 1-5); the vision of the Messiah the Servant who will be anointed by the Spirit to re-establish the right on earth and to proclaim the Good News to the poor (Is 11, 1-9; 42, 1; 44, 1-3; 61, 1-3). The prophets foresee a future in which the People of God is reborn thanks to the effusion of the Spirit (Ez 36, 26-27; Ps 51, 12: cf. Is 32, 15-20).
In the Gospel of John these prophecies are fulfilled in Jesus. As it happened in creation (Gen 1, 1), in the same way the Spirit appears and descends on Jesus “under the form of a dove form heaven” (Jn 1, 32), It is the beginning of the new creation! Jesus pronounces the words of God and communicates to us the Spirit in abundance (Jn 3, 34). His words are Spirit and life (Jn 6, 63). When Jesus leaves, he says that he will send another consoler, another defender whom he will leave with us. It is the Holy Spirit (Jn 14, 16-17). By his passion, death and resurrection, Jesus wins for us the gift of the Spirit. When he appears to the Apostles, he breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit!” (Jn 20, 22). The first effect of the action of the Holy Spirit in us is reconciliation: “to those to whom you remit sins, they will be remitted and to those to whom you do not remit them, they will not be remitted!” (Jn 20, 23). Through Baptism we all receive this same Spirit of Jesus (Jn 1, 33). The Spirit is like the water which springs from within the person who believes in Jesus (Jn 7, 37-39; 4, 14). The Spirit is given to us to be able to remember and understand the full significance of the Words of Jesus (Jn 14, 26; 16, 12-13). Animated by the Spirit of Jesus we can adore God every where (Jn 4, 23-24). Here the liberty of the Spirit is lived. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”, Saint Paul confirms it ( 2 Cor 3, 17).
ii) Shalom: the construction of peace
In the Gospel of John, the first encounter between the Risen Jesus and his disciples is marked by a greeting: “Peace be with you!” The peace which Jesus gives us is different from the Pax Romana, constructed by the Roman Empire (Jn 14, 27). Peace in the Bible (shalom), is a word rich with a deep significance. It means integrity of the persons before God and others. It means also a full life, happy, abundant (Jn 10, 10). Peace is the sign of the presence of God, because our God is a God of Peace “Yahweh is Peace” (Jer 6, 24). “May the Peace of God be with you!” (Rom 15, 33). This is the reason why the peace of God produces violent reactions. As the Psalm says: “Too long have I lived among people who hate peace. When I speak of peace they are all for war!” (Ps 120, 6-7). The peace which Jesus gives us is the sign of a “sword” (Mt 10, 34). It is necessary to have trust, to struggle, to work, to persevere in the Spirit in order that the peace of God may triumph one day. And that day “love and truth will meet, justice and peace will embrace” (Ps 85, 11). And then, “The Kingdom of God will be justice, peace and joy, and these will be the fruits of the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14, 17) and “God will be all in all” (I Co 15, 28).
6. PSALM 145
Description of the Kingdom of God
I shall praise you to the heights,
God my King, I shall bless your name for ever and ever.
Day after day I shall bless you,
I shall praise your name for ever and ever.
Great is Yahweh and worthy of all praise,
his greatness beyond all reckoning.

Each age will praise your deeds to the next,
proclaiming your mighty works.
Your renown is the splendour of your glory,
I will ponder the story of your wonders.
They will speak of your awesome power,
and I shall recount your greatness.
They will bring out the memory of your great generosity,
and joyfully acclaim your saving justice.
Yahweh is tenderness and pity,
slow to anger, full of faithful love.
Yahweh is generous to all,
his tenderness embraces all his creatures.

All your creatures shall thank you, Yahweh,
and your faithful shall bless you.
They shall speak of the glory of your kingship
and tell of your might,
making known your mighty deeds to the children of Adam,
the glory and majesty of your kingship.
Your kingship is a kingship for ever,
your reign lasts from age to age.
Yahweh is trustworthy in all his words,
and upright in all his deeds.

Yahweh supports all who stumble,
lifts up those who are bowed down.
All look to you in hope and
you feed them with the food of the season.
And, with generous hand,
you satisfy the desires of every living creature.
Upright in all that he does,

Yahweh acts only in faithful love.
He is close to all who call upon him,
all who call on him from the heart.
He fulfils the desires of all who fear him,
he hears their cry and he saves them.
Yahweh guards all who love him,
but all the wicked he destroys.
My mouth shall always praise Yahweh,
let every creature bless his holy name for ever and ever.
7. FINAL PRAYER
Lord Jesus, we thank for the word that has enabled us to understand better the will of the Father. May your Spirit enlighten our actions and grant us the strength to practice that which your Word has revealed to us. May we, like Mary, your mother, not only listen to but also practise the Word. You who live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.