Pentecost icon written by Francisco “Kiko” Arguello, initiator of the Neocatechumenal Way.

A post-Pentecost reflection

“And he (Jesus) said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.’… After saying this he breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit.” (Jn 20:21-22 NJB)

It’s almost a week since we concluded the Easter Season with the Solemnity of Pentecost (the 50th after Pascha). Nevertheless it is opportune to still reflect on the liturgy of this holy day.

The Paschal Candle is displayed and lit in churches from the Easter Vigil up to Pentecost. The purpose is not only to mark Eastertide’s timeline of fifty (50) days. Rather it is also to tell us that the same light which emanated from the Risen Christ on that first Easter Sunday is the same light of the Holy Spirit, poured forth in its fullness fifty days later.

On the first Easter Sunday, Jesus showed himself to the apostles (minus Judas Iscariot) and disciples who locked themselves in the upper room for fear of the Jews (cf. Jn 20:19b). He greeted them: “Peace be with you.” He breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (Jn 20:22) Fifty days later, the Holy Spirit descended on this same band gathered on that first Easter Sunday, proceeded from the Father and the Son (cf. Nicene Creed). And, as the Acts of the Apostles narrates, a strong wind blew and tongues of fire appeared in their heads. They were fortified by the Breath of God and illumined by the Light of the Spirit.

It is sad to note that, in some churches, the Paschal Candle is already set aside as early as Ascension. They are missing the point. That same light of the Risen Christ is the same light given to the apostles and disciples fifty days later.

In this day and age, the world needs light – we need the Light of the Holy Spirit more than ever!

We need the Light of Peace in the midst of various conflicts in our families, in our society and in the world.

We need the Light of Truth in a world bombarded by error particularly of confusion in doctrine, morals, and the defamation campaign of fake news in social media and the internet.

We need the Light of Love in a world full of hatred in the hearts of men and women, in a world in need of God’s mercy more than ever, in a world in need of God’s mercy which transforms lives.

Let this be our prayer, taught by St. Arnold Jansen to his religious family and Christians of goodwill:

May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of Grace. And may the Heart of Jesus live in every heart and in the hearts of all.

Amen! Alleluia!