Pentecost Sunday

The Holy Spirit enlightens the Church 

“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning. “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Jn 15,26-27; 16,12-15

All our grandchildren, but Luisa – who is four and already knows everything – ask, from time to time, some embarrassing questions which is routinely answered: “I’ll explain when you’re older”. Every now and then one of them is not satisfied and replies: “Why don’t you explain it to me now, I’m all grown up now”. It is true that children should always deserve full answers so that they can become aware of the reality in which they were called to live, but there are topics that adults prefer to postpone to when they are older. The same thing happens when a person comes to life in faith and become part of the Kingdom of Heaven: he or she is in a new world, waiting to be discovered, whose knowledge goes side by side with the spiritual growth. This is the strategy followed by Jesus to prepare the disciples to take the reins of the future Church. There are, however, subjects that he has only hinted at, entrusting the initiative of Holy Spirit with them, after the Resurrection and Pentecost, because every time he tried to speak about them, he found only rejection and discomfort in the disciples. This is what happens in today’s Gospel: “I have much more to say, but for the moment are not able to bear them. When will he, the Spirit of truth will guide you into all truth”.The first of these things that the disciples have always denied is that the Master would suffer on the cross to save the world. The second and third ones, i.e. the advent of the Holy Spirit in history and the testimony that they were also to make, are announced in today’s passage: “When the Advocate [Holy Spirit] comes, whom I will send you from the Father, he … will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.”. Another truth that will have to discover is that they, like the Master, will be subject to the dynamics of the grain of wheat, which must die in the ground to bear fruit. Later, however, the revelations of the Holy Spirit will be even a river of divine wisdom that never dries up. This must be remembered: the revelation that the proclamation of the Gospel must be brought to all peoples (the First Council of Jerusalem, 50 AD), the definition of the “I believe” (Council of Nicea, 325); the concepts of liberty, equality and fraternity which have gradually penetrated into the history, the first social encyclical letter (Rerum Novarum by Pope Leo XIII, 1891), which is the synthesis of the ideologies of capitalism and communism, enlightened by faith. Today, even though the Church has already taken a stand and given answers, there are some topics that should deserve the opening of a new council: international integration as a result of globalization, the concept of family, which is changing, whether human life must be generated by love or can also be produced in the laboratory, sustainable development in relation to ecology, the way the divorced ones could live a full spiritual life, the concept of virginity in a world in which people get married over thirty and that of purity, in singles, spouses, homosexuals and religious. And finally there is the issue of opening up the priesthood to women. In modern times, as well as technology, the story has started running faster and faster and church councils should be more frequent, in order to provide adequate responses to problems of mankind.

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