Pentecost Sunday Reflection
(John 15:26-27,16:12-15, alternative John 20:19-23)
The becoming of history flows in our souls. Each of us has a place in the ongoing unfolding of the three great epochs that reveal the Spirit at work within creation.
- At the genesis of the history of creation, God breaths the Word that becomes the matrix and blueprint for all Being; bringing order and light to the primordial chaos.
- At the genesis of the mystery of consciousness of our human species, God breathes that same Spirit into our ancestors, generating that self-awareness and autonomy out of which flows the possibility of Love, imaging God’s very own universal Triune essence.
- At the genesis of the assembly of the church, God’s Spirit is once more breathed on the apostles and the disciples, initiating the supernatural spiritual consciousness out of which a unitive experience of God, who is Spirit, becomes possible.
The awakening of God’s Spirit within us frees us from fear, heals our woundedness, resonates with the transcendent, and animates those relationships that teach us Truth; Jesus the Christ within God, and God within us, and within all of creation. This is the Spirit of Truth that seeks to guide our lives, that leads us to worship, and that brings us joy.
As my life becomes more and more centred on this relationship with the Spirit of Integrity and Truth, I am brought to a profoundly attentive awareness of the one Source of unconditional Love and Light. It is this awareness that exposes any selfish egocentric distractions, violence, hypocrisy, guilt, arbitrary power, and that fear of loss that manifests itself as clinging, grasping acquisitiveness.
As soon as I recognise my own wounds reflected against God’s Love and Light, I am led to repentance. It is in the joy of God’s goodness that I weep at this great sorrow I have encountered on my journey. God offers us the grace to “weep” over our sins, to humbly recognise our total reliance on this grace rather than any meeting of God halfway.
This acknowledgement of how these sins have affected our relationships, bonding myself in chains as I bind others also to their past mistakes. Each one of us in the union as both victim and perpetrator, in every sorrowful sin and every joyful redemption; the ongoing drama of creation-redemption.
Jesus the resurrected Christ tells all of his followers that through the Holy Spirit we are enabled to bear witness and to set each other free in the joint proclamation of the forgiveness of sins, the unbinding all bonds. This Hamartia, this missing the mark, this sin, is secondary to any particular moral code. This sin to which the blessed apostle John refers is an inability to see and respond to that which is real.
Without this awakening of Spiritual consciousness, we remain blind, unable, and unwilling to hold the truth of God’s manifestation and action in the cosmos. This blindness leads us to retain those bonds, those sins that stunt our growth, and perpetuate a circle of woundedness that not only robs us of life and joy but also transmits its disease to all other creatures and even to our mother Earth. These wounds that corrupt our actions are as much within our corporate institutions as they are within us, the microcosm reflecting the macrocosm.
The ongoing Pentecost allows us to recognise that there is within ourselves both good and bad, light and dark, self-contentedness and great generosity, as well as violence and peace. This recognition comes with an understanding of the necessity to stand in humble vulnerability before each other with the eye of compassion.
In admonition number 18, St Francis calls his followers to this compassion “Blessed is the one who bears with their neighbour according to the frailty of their nature …”. This is a stance that seeks neither to hide, to judge, to predict, or to manipulate. Only within this humble and compassionate stance is the possibility to understand each other beyond judgment, culture, language, and all our other defined boundaries. Only Love can truly speak to the heart.
It is the Spirit of Truth that leads us to forgive even the unforgivable and to heal our deepest wounds and divisions. It is the same Spirit of Truth that now leads us towards lives lived simply in service of others without the great triumphalist slogans and banners that separate us from those others and dull our senses to reality.
Those others, brothers and sisters are also made in the same image of God and share with me the same experiences of pain and the same experiences joy. This brings us to accept that it is not in “fixing” situations or in “helping” the other in some processes of reconciliation that healing takes place.
When Jesus bent down to wash the feet of his disciples, he showed us that service in a relationship between equals draws us into that Love relationship that can heal us as well as others. The healing of history is within our grasp.
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