The giving of the Spirit to the new people of God crowns the mighty acts of the Father in salvation history.
The Jewish feast of Pentecost called all devout Jews to Jerusalem to celebrate their birth as God's chosen people, in the covenant Law given to Moses at Sinai (see Leviticus 23:15-21; Deuteronomy 16:9- 11).
In today's First Reading the mysteries prefigured in that feast are fulfilled in the pouring out of the Spirit on Mary and the Apostles (see Acts 1:14).READ MORE
Jesus has been taken up into heaven as we begin today's First Reading. His disciples - including the Apostles and Mary - return to the upper room where He celebrated the Last Supper (see Luke 22:12).
There, they devote themselves with one accord to prayer, awaiting the Spirit that He promised would come upon them (see Acts 1:8).
The unity of the early Church at Jerusalem is a sign of the oneness that Christ prays for in today's Gospel. The Church is to be a communion on earth that mirrors the glorious union of Father, Son and Spirit in the Trinity.READ MORE
Jesus will not leave us alone. He won't make us children of God in Baptism only to leave us "orphans," He assures us in today's Gospel (see Romans 8:14-17) . He asks the Father to give us His Spirit, to dwell with us and keep us united in the life He shares with the Father.
We see the promised gift of His Spirit being conferred in today's First Reading. The scene from Acts apparently depicts a primitive Confirmation rite. Philip, one of the first deacons (see Acts 6:5), proclaims the Gospel in the non-Jewish city of Samaria. The Samaritans accept the Word of God (see Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 2:13) and are baptized.READ MORE
Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year A)
By His death, Resurrection and Ascension, Jesus has gone ahead to prepare a place for us in His Father's house. His Father's house is no longer a temple made by human hands. It is the spiritual house of the Church, built on the living stone of Christ's body. As Peter interprets the Scriptures in today's Epistle, Jesus is the "stone" destined to be rejected by men but made the precious cornerstone of God's dwelling on earth (see Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 8:14; 28:16).READ MORE