|Posted on May 10, 2017 at 1:10 AM|
Solemnity of Pentecost (Year A)
Gospel: John 20:19-23
Our Lady’s Message: Come, Holy Spirit (521)
Dear brothers and sisters,
We now celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost, which concludes the Easter Season. This is the peak moment in salvation history. The awesome Spirit marks the definitive fulfillment of the Father’s redemptive plan, which Jesus wonderfully accomplished. It also ushers in a new order of creation and the birth of the Church to carry on the mission that Jesus had begun.
In her message, Our Lady teaches us to invoke the Holy Spirit through her powerful intercession. She explains why. We will read Message No. 521: Come, Holy Spirit from the book “To the Priests Our Lady’s Beloved Sons.”
I. GOSPEL READING (John 20:19-23)
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
Points for Reflection
John narrates the giving of the Spirit right on that evening when Jesus first appeared to his disciples For John, the Resurrection and the Pentecost are tightly intertwined, as both point to the fulfillment of God’s plan. This is also true with Luke. In the First Reading, he begins his account on Pentecost with a special note that “the time was fulfilled” (Acts 2:1). Seeing a parallel in the two narratives, it would help in our reflection to read them side by side with each other.
1. A Foreshadowing of the Church
The apostles gathered inside the room are significantly mentioned in John’s narrative not only as proof of the Resurrection, but also to foreshadow the soon-to-be-born church. Luke writes with a similar detail at Pentecost: “they were all in one place together” (Acts 2:1). Even before this, after the Ascension, “they are found gathered in the upper room (cenacle), devoting themselves in prayer with Mary” (Acts 1:12-14).
These gatherings significantly foreshadow the Church, which culminated at Pentecost. The Preface of the Mass echoes this event: “As the apostles awaited the Spirit you had promised, Mary joined her supplication to the prayers of the disciples gathered and so became the pattern of the Church at prayer” (Preface on the Memorial of Mary, Model and Mother of the Church). This reminds us that we must live as a church, the way it has been foreshadowed and born. Interestingly, ‘gathering’ is the English word for ‘ekklesia’ (Greek), which also means ‘church.’
2. The Breath of the Mighty Spirit
Jesus breathing the life-giving Spirit on the apostles - “Receive the Holy Spirit” - is reminiscent of creation when God breathed His Spirit into the man he formed out of dust (Gen. 2:27). The Resurrection brings about new creation, which the Holy Spirit will carry out to bring back divine life to man, made in God’s image and likeness. Similarly, Luke describes the Spirit at Pentecost like “a strong driving wind” and “tongues of fire,” making an allusion to an earlier account of creation when “a mighty wind swept over the waters, and then there was light” (Gen. 1:2-3). What is life-giving Spirit for John is for Luke the mighty empowering Spirit.
3. The Commissioning
Having received the Spirit, the disciples were commissioned to carry on the work of the Lord in the world. That work is to bear witness to the reality of God’s presence as revealed by Jesus. For John, the mission is forgiveness, very distinctive of him, as he was the only one to witness forgiveness at Calvary. This is carried out through the Sacrament of Confession, the sacrament of Jesus’ forgiving presence. For Luke, it is about proclaiming “the mighty acts of God” in various languages, which indicates the Church’s universal mission and nature - “catholic.”
II. OUR LADY’S MESSAGE: "COME, HOLY SPIRIT” (Message 521)
June 7, 1981, Solemnity of Pentecost
a. Today you find yourselves gathered together here, in a continuous cenacle of prayer with your heavenly Mother, in the liturgical celebration of the solemnity of Pentecost.
b. And you are repeating, with the intensity of love, the prayer which I myself have taught you: 'Come, Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well-beloved Spouse.'
c. Come, Holy Spirit.
d. A new and universal effusion of the Holy Spirit is necessary to arrive at the new times, so longed for. It is necessary that the second Pentecost come quickly. It can come to pass only in the spiritual cenacle of my Immaculate Heart. For this reason, I renew today the invitation to all the Church to enter into the cenacle, which the heavenly Mother has prepared for you for the final times. You are able to enter through the act of consecration to my Immaculate Heart.
e. I request that this consecration, asked by me with such anxious insistence, be made by the bishops, the priests, the religious and the faithful. And let it be made by all in order to shorten the time of the great trial which has now arrived.
f. The Holy Spirit will then bring you to an understanding of the whole and entire truth. The Holy Spirit will cause you to understand the times through which you are living. The Holy Spirit will be light upon your way and will make you courageous witnesses of the Gospel in the dreadful hour of the great apostasy. The Holy Spirit will bring you to grasp that which I will make manifest to you concerning what is contained in the still sealed Book. The Holy Spirit will give his perfect witness to the Son, by preparing hearts and souls to receive Jesus who will return to you in glory.
g. Come, Holy Spirit.
h. Come by means of the powerful intercession of my Immaculate Heart. My hour is the hour of the Holy Spirit. The triumph of my Immaculate Heart will coincide with the great prodigy of the second Pentecost.
i. A new fire will come down from heaven and will purify all humanity. It will be like a judgment in miniature, and each one will see himself in the light of the very truth of God.
j. Thus sinners will come back to grace and holiness; the straying, to the road of righteousness; those far away, to the house of the Father; the sick, to complete healing; and the proud, the impure, the wicked collaborators with Satan will be defeated and condemned for ever.
k. Then my motherly Heart will have its triumph over all humanity, which will return to a new marriage of love and of life with its Heavenly Father.
l. Come Holy Spirit.
m. Come at the voice of your well-beloved Spouse who calls You. I am the heavenly Spouse of the Holy Spirit. As, through a singular design of the Father, I have become true Mother of the Son, so also have I become true Spouse of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has given Himself to my soul by an interior and true spousal union, and of this has been born the divine fruit of the virginal conception of the Word in my most pure womb.
n. The Spirit cannot resist the voice of the Spouse who calls to Him. And so unite yourselves, each and all, to me, my little children, in invoking today the gift of the Holy Spirit. Let your supplication become the prayer of these last times. Let your prayer be habitual, repeated frequently by you, because it has been taught to you and is being passionately demanded of you by your heavenly Mother: 'Come, Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well-beloved Spouse!
o. And open your hearts to hope, because there is about to come upon you the greatest prodigy of the second Pentecost.
Points for Reflection
In her message, Our Lady teaches us to invoke the Holy Spirit through her powerful intercession. “Come, Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well-beloved Spouse.” She explains why.
1. The Second Pentecost
In her new formula of invoking the Holy Spirit, Our Lady foretells the Second Pentecost, in which “a new fire” will come down to purify the world. “It will be like a judgment in miniature, and each one will see himself in the light of the very truth of God” (521 i). This will bring sinners back to grace and holiness; the straying, to the road of righteousness; those far away, to the Father’s house; the sick, to complete healing; and Satan’s collaborators, to their defeat and condemnation (521 j).
Likewise, the Holy Spirit will bring us to the whole and entire truth, which helps us understand the times through which we are living as contained in the sealed Book. The Holy Spirit will be light that will make us courageous witnesses of the Gospel, giving perfect witness to Jesus, in the dreadful hour of the great apostasy, which precedes his return in glory (521 f). She urges us to open our hearts to hope, “because there is about to come upon you the greatest prodigy of the second Pentecost” (521 o).
2. Through the Cenacle of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Because this new Pentecost involves the whole world, a new and universal outpouring of the Holy Spirit is necessary, which can come to pass only in the cenacle of her Immaculate Heart (521 d). She is the only “Spouse of the Holy Spirit” (226 a, 521 m). How can the Spirit resist her voice that calls to him (521 n)? Only in this cenacle will the prodigy of the Second Pentecost take place (355 b).
Besides, the Second Pentecost can happen only after the pattern of the First Pentecost, i.e., in prayer with her in the cenacle. Thus, she reiterates her invitation with such anxious insistence to enter into the cenacle through our act of consecration to her Immaculate Heart (521 d-e).
But, above all, what makes this cenacle so urgently needed is the period of the purification and the great tribulation in which we are living (573 j). “Humanity must now enter into the cenacle of my Immaculate Heart: here, as Mother, I will teach it to pray and to repent; I will lead it to penance and conversion, to a change of heart and of life. Within this new and spiritual cenacle, I will prepare it to receive the gift of the Second Pentecost, which will renew the face of the earth (573 h-i).
Let us live the Pentecost in the cenacle, united in prayer with Our Lady.
Yours in the Immaculate Heart,
Our Lady's messages are taken from the book: "To the Priests Our Lady's Beloved Sons", a compilation of 604 messages in the form of locutions given by the Blessed Virgin Mary through Fr. Stefano Gobbi of Italy.
Bp Donald W. Montrose, D.D., 1998
Abp Francesco Cuccarese, 2007