Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then 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.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (Jn. 20:19-22)
In the Gospel of John the encounter with the Risen Lord and the Gift of the Spirit are celebrated together; we have Easter and Pentecost on the same day! John wants us to understand that the gift of the Spirit is the fruit of the resurrection. Christ risen bestows on us his peace, breathes on us his Spirit and sends us just as he was sent by the Father. The whole mystery of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is compacted together in these few verses and we are brought to the overwhelming realisation that God chooses to mission us just as he missioned his son. John’s Gospel makes it very clear why the Father sent his Son – it was because he so loved the world. In Jesus, the Word made flesh, the world comes to know who God is and Jesus does this by inviting people to come ?? faith in him which is the same as trusting in him. The signs he performs all point to the presence with us of a God who loves us, heals us, nourishes us and raises us up. God is light and in him there is no darkness at all: this is what Jesus shows us and this is what we in turn are invited to share with the world. In the Gospel of John, we are made to understand that the only way we can do this is by being one with him, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” (Jn.15:5). It is the gift of the Spirit that makes this union possible and it is in the power of this Spirit that we are sent.
Without the Spirit our Christian faith is just another religion, a set of rules, or a collection of dogmas. However, in the Spirit it becomes a word of life for the world.
Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the LORD of hosts. (Zech. 4:6)
Word made fleshAnd splendour of the Father, you are the light of the world. As you change water to wine you invite us to celebrate God’s joy in us. As you go on bended knee to wash our feet you show us the way of the Father’s humble love. Through the gift of your Spirit May we live as true servants of your word so that the world may come to know that We too are sent by the Father. Amen