Gospel Jn 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."
"He breathed on them and said to them; "Receive the Holy Spirit" ~ Let us pause and pray together: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your Love, send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created, and Thou shall renew the face of the earth~
There are powerful 'actions' happening in this Gospel passage. He is "breathing upon them" ~ "He is speaking to them and telling them something" and that 'something' is; "RECEIVE" Let us look simply at the Word spoken to us "RECEIVE..." Jesus is not saying, Please would you receive, or would you like to receive the Holy Spirit ? No, His words come rather in the 'imperative tense', there is a type of 'command' here: "Receive the Holy Spirit" in other words ...allow the gift to be given to you, worthy or 'not worthy' the gift is being given get ready! What will we do? We can resist or reject the gift of His Spirit by saying; No! I don't want to be led by Love at this moment, that's too demanding, let me just ignore that 'prompting' in my heart. No I don't want the light blazing in those areas inside me right now, sin has its pleasures, later I will accept the light, let me keep my attachments, I will grow in holiness tomorrow~ but do any of us know how many days of light we still have? Today is the day, right now say Yes to the Holy Spirit! To receive Him by our docility to His voice and promptings. I love this quote very much, I just read it recently in my notes, I don't know the author: "We welcome the Father and honor Him, whenever we submit to the direction of the Holy Spirit welling up in our hearts." Docility is a beautiful thing, especially when we are docile (receptive) to God.
Let us enter the Gospel once again, and be with the disciples and watch Jesus "Come" and what do you see? Immeasurable light and beauty so much so, that you almost have to squint your eyes, the brightness of His light and beauty are so powerful and the Presence of Love is so tender that you find your eyes filling up with tears and you don't understand this presence of Love and light that have this effect. There is something very different happening right now and all the disciples with you are encountering it too~ Look into Jesus's eyes, see the Love for you, see the Mercy for you, see the knowledge He has of you intimately and see how His gaze rests upon you and there is Light! Light within Him, around Him and somehow it is passing through you. There are no words you need say, because His eyes are somehow addressing everything welling up in your heart. Stay there, stay close to Him, so that when He breathes upon you all, His very breathe passes your face. In other words He is very close to you, that his breath is passing your face. It is different than any other breath because His breath effects something within you that wells up, like a burning fire, that is so sweet and so powerful and intense, it is making your heart beat like its never been alive before, it is clearing your interior vision and decisions that seemed heavy before, seem very clear and sound what to do. His breath is effecting a deep desire to forgive someone that has hurt you deeply, it is effecting courage to go forward in a course of action that up until now, terrified you. His breath is also setting you free from all disgust you have with yourself. You ask yourself Who is this person of Jesus Christ and Who is this Holy Spirit that is now invading my very heart, penetrating and taking possession of you, so that you feel the tremendous burning desire to just get out there and LOVE! To 'receive' a gift, one has to remain still and open your hands- Let us do this now with our hearts, for the gifts of the Spirit of God, come into our very being, into our minds and hearts. Let us remain 'still' open, receptive, docile and allow the gifts to be given by saying in the depth of one's heart- YES, I Long for the Holy Spirit, Come into my soul, Come Holy Spirit, Come Holy Spirit! Veni Sancte Spiritus!