June 5, 2022: Pentecost Sunday, Solemnity
Gospel: John 20:19-23
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,” and after saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord, and he said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.” After saying this he breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.”
A former pastor once announced before Mass on Pentecost Sunday that we were celebrating a very special birthday that day. We all looked around and were puzzled because we knew nearly everyone there and wondered who it was. Much to my surprise, because I’d never heard it announced this way, he explained it was the birthday of the Church and so we must celebrate. And so, what are we to celebrate? Well, in today’s Gospel, we are told. We are to celebrate the peace of the Lord and forgiveness. As we are called to be holy, we are also called to be peacemakers and offer forgiveness. We are, also, called in humility to ask for forgiveness.
Reflect today on the people you are called to forgive. And then, in prayer offer that forgiveness and then in turn ask for forgiveness for the times you have failed in loving one another. It’s quite an undertaking as we are called to celebrate today.