Today we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, the birth of the Church, of which we are all a part. The Church is comprised of ordinary men and women, very human individuals. That humanity is obvious right from the beginning, we see it in the disciples who were not a very brave group of people. Most of the disciples fled after Jesus was arrested, and weren’t present for his crucifixion. Judas had sold him for thirty pieces of silver. Peter, a man of impulse who had proclaimed him as the Christ and promised to follow him no matter what, denied him three times.

 So it was not surprising that three days after the crucifixion of Jesus the disciples are found hiding in a locked room for fear of the Jews, as we hear in today’s Gospel. It was these weak human beings whom Jesus chose to be his witnesses. If our faith in people of positions of leadership is shaken, or if our personal weakness or doubt overwhelms us, we can surely identify with the disciples.

 Into that room, into the midst of the disciples, Jesus goes. He meets the disciples as they are, and through his presence they are changed, they are transformed. He enables them to see who he is, and that he has risen as he said he would. Jesus doesn’t condemn their weakness and fear, rather he enables them to overcome it, by giving them His Spirit, the Holy Spirit whom God continues to pour out on His Church.

 The Holy Spirit comes down upon these men and women whose courage and belief had failed them in the past. The Spirit transforms them by igniting, setting alight, their faith. And they are commissioned, given the task, to go and spread the Good News of Jesus.

 Just as these weak and fearful people were transformed into faithful witnesses so must we be transformed by the promise and presence of Jesus through the Holy Spirit. As individuals and as a community of the followers of Jesus we too need to be open to the continuing presence of the Holy Spirit who is always available to us so that we too can be transformed into a dynamic faith community.

Posted on May 13, 2016 .