Sixth Sunday of Easter
Pentecost, baptism and confirmation
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” Jn 14,15-21
Today the week of preparation for the Ascension begins, which is the day when Jesus, having fulfilled his earthly mission, returns to the Father. By the next week we will live the week which prepares ourselves for the celebration of the Pentecost, the day on which the Holy Spirit descends on the disciples and Mary in the Cenacle. For Jesus it’s time to ”handover”, consequently in the today Gospel he begins to prepare the apostles for the future which awaits them. On the Pentecost the Holy Spirit will send them the necessary gifts for the mission: the wisdom, the power and the consolation. The wisdom will mainly consist in the knowledge of Jesus, Son of God, and in the remembrance of what he taught them, as well as in the ability to read the signs of the times and in the opening of the mind and of the heart to the future elucidations of the Holy Spirit. The power is in particular referred to the proclamation of gospel, to the frankness and to the authority with which it is testified. The consolation is the gift which will be necessary in the dark moments of the faith, of the mission, of the persecution and of the proof. These gifts are the same which Edoardo, the son of Maria Francesca and Davide, has received in the baptism on the night of Easter, and which Paolo, the son of Anna Rita and Eugenio, will receive on the next sunday. They are delivered to Edoardo and Paolo, not because of their faith, which as infants, yet they cannot have, but because of that of their parents and godparents, who are committed to a christian upbringing. Gabriele, the son of Gianmario and Francesca, at the end of next month will, on the contrary, be awarded the sacrament of the confirmation, in which the gifts received in the baptism will be confirmed and, by virtue of the journey of faith already done, will give vent to him with all their power and effectiveness. I will have the privilege of working together with the parents and the church to this event, because in addition to be a grandfather, I am also godfather (I confess, proud of it!). We will meet for moments of prayer and meditation together with Gabriele in these days. These will be moments of grace.