Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle B

Pentecost Sunday

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John 20:19-23

"As the Father sent me, so am I sending you"

The life and mission of the Church flows from the life and mission of our Lord. He was sent into the world to proclaim the Good News of God's Kingdom and to bring salvation to the whole of mankind; henceforth the Church, working in his name and living by his power, is sent to continue his mission. Images of “a powerful wind” and “tongues of fire” describe the coming of the Spirit, changing the first disciples from the fear-filled remnant of a seemingly lost cause, into a vibrant body of confident messengers telling the world of “the marvels of God”. This is the birth of the Church.

Throughout his public life and ministry, Jesus had manifested a unique spirit of faithfulness to his mission, never bending in the face of temptation, fear or persecution. His whole being was totally directed towards his Father and his Kingdom of truth, love, justice and peace. Hence a life characterised by a spirit of caring for the weak and of loving the unloved, of healing the sick and reconciling the sinner, of comforting the lonely and afflicted. He struggled against injustice, challenged those who exploited the weak, urged people everywhere to repentance and to a change in heart.

Now he continues to breathe forth his Spirit into his Church, with the simple but profound invitation "Receive the Holy Spirit", thereby giving us his own life and empowering us to continue his work of changing and saving the world. The Spirit of Jesus is given to us to enable us to become like him, to be united in his love, enlightened by his word, embodying his values, imitating his behaviour, continuing his mission with his own vigour and dedication. The Church was born, and shall continue to live, in the gift of the Holy Spirit.