The gospel reading on Sunday comes from the Gospel of John. It tells of the gift of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, but not the Pentecost event that Luke/Acts relates: it tells of a quieter more intimate sharing on the first day of the week, the first day of the Resurrection, the first day of the new Creation.
In the evening of 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 showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw 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.
For those whose sins you forgive,
they are forgiven;
for those whose sins you retain,
they are retained.’
The Holy Spirit is gifted to the disciples and so is the responsibility for living authentic to the Spirit, to Jesus and the Father.
- Whose sins do you forgive?
- Whose do you retain?
Holy Spirit, Dresden. (c) 2006, Allen Morris.