Sunday, June 9, 2019
The Church is nothing but a section of humanity in which Christ has really taken form. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
At the time of Jesus, Pentecost was a memorial of the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai and the covenant God made with Israel. On Mount Sinai God’s voice was heard in rumbling thunder.
For us, it is the promulgation of the “New Covenant in my Blood”—the covenant that forms a new people. In the upper room a powerful wind shakes the whole house.
God first reveals himself in the burning bush: “I have surely seen the affliction of my people…and have heard their cry…because I know their sorrows, and I am come down to deliver them.”
For us, the never-consumed fire of God’s compassion is revealed in the death and resurrection of Jesus, “I have come to cast fire upon the earth. O that it was already kindled!” [Lk 12:49]
Now the burning love of God comes upon all and each. We are sent to complete his work on earth.
The fire of the Spirit: Call it zeal, call it passion, chutzpah, panache. We are to savor life, to live with perspective, hope, and humor.
We need the determination to face suffering and injustice, to live in the real world, to engage it, and make something of it. Jean Vanier:
Jesus came not to establish reasonable laws which must be obeyed in order that human beings and society function well, but rather to light the fire of the Holy Spirit, to communicate a passion of love which is reflected also in inner light and an outpouring of service.
Inner light. An out-pouring of service. The Spirit given to each( peculiar) one of us draws us to know Christ intimately.
My personal Pentecost, my empowerment to share the compassion of God with others, is the result of a long process of interiorization.
That inner light engages, heals, and perfects my human freedom. It strengthens me to face painful truths, take risks, and make changes.
It is always there, an invitation to willingly discover and selflessly participate in God’s creative love.
That inner light leads me to neither reject nor accept literally the teachings of Church and Scripture, but to the docility to sit with them, ponder them and listen for the inner validation of conscience.
I beg the grace to know myself in all my contradictions for what I am, a forgiven sinner, a trusted friend called to service.
I get out of my own way to become aware of and cooperate more with the interior movements of God’s Spirit.
From the first day, the Church is essentially missionary; that is, Catholic. From the first day, diversity is embraced and celebrated.
Every culture, every person is to be addressed in a way that can be heard and understood—and all who choose to belong must be given a place at the table.
The Church is nothing but a section of humanity in which Christ has really taken form.