June 1, 2017
“I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one…
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:20-23)
My beloved brothers and sisters—
So rarely we hear Jesus open to us the very depths of his heart—and what a wait it is for those of us who attend Mass with an opening ear, seeking Gospel passages that offer his spoken voice, to hear him speak and imagine the sound of his voice. His is the voice of one who intimately knows the eternity and immediacy of love.
Whenever Jesus speaks, the experience should forever change us; like honey, his voice ought melt its way into the coldest parts of our being, to make it new, to set it afire and to increase our thirst, to be filled with his person and to live in radical obedience to the commandment: love with everything you are, everything you possess, everything you do. Love, love, love.
Do you hear his voice here? That they may all be one. You and I are included—we who have heard about Jesus from human persons, who heard about Jesus from other persons, all of us spiritual descendants of the early disciples; we are no different from them. We do not differ from those who heard John the Baptist point to Jesus and cry, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”, and who followed him, touched him, ate with him.
Two thousand years ago, when the first apostles stood next to each other, next to Jesus, they were not one because they were so close in physical proximity. They were one because of the Holy Spirit, whose power flowed through them and who revealed to them the identity of the Christ—this same Spirit who will come to us in a new way this Pentecost.
That the world may know that you sent me. He doesn’t walk with us anymore, but yet the world may know, must know. And how will the world know? How will history record the continued presence of the Incarnation? The Incarnation continues when you and I open up ourselves, our bodies, our hearts, our souls and our voices, our minds, to be directed by the Holy Spirit. This is the only thing that matters, ever; that you and I be open to the Spirit.
A prayer: This Pentecost, I ask, my Lord and my God, just one thing: That you may take me, everything that I am, everything that I have, everything I have been and ever will be, and transfigure it by your Providence. Come, Holy Spirit, and take me from me everything that prohibits the movement of your life in me. Empty my person and my life of anything that doesn’t originate in you. Come, and set afire in me your love, that I may live by it now and into eternity, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Pentecost Novena | It's never too late to ask for the Holy Spirit to come; consecrate yourself without hesitation!