Scripture reading reflection


Scripture Reading Reflection
by Fr. Andrew Kelly
Pentecost Sunday’s Gospel (John 20:19-23) is really the story of Sunday’s assembled community. The community is that very small group of disciples locked in fear. But through the Scriptures and the Lord’s body and blood, the risen Jesus penetrates the paralyzing fear with the greeting: “Peace be with you.”
Jesus’ fiery, penetrating peace transforms the community into a place of joy. Outsiders begin to wonder why such joy. The community points to the crucifix suspended over the Lord’s Table. Jesus’ punctured hands and pierced side are the marks of Jesus’ unconditional love for everyone gathered around the table.
More remarkable is what happens next. Jesus sends the community on Jesus’ very own mission: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Jesus breaths upon the community and says: “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus’ Holy Spirit keeps Jesus’ mission alive in the community. The Spirit is so powerful that the community becomes a place of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation. Again, outsiders begin to notice the unconditional love that community members have for one another. This unconditional love is how the community reveals to the neighborhood and to the whole world that the Pentecost story is now the community’s story.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)

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