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GOSPEL REFLECTION – 7th Sunday of Easter

My dear sisters and brothers of St Martin’s,

It may have been a season of lockdown and isolation, bit it’s also hopefully been a season that has lifted our spirits and helped us to hope as we’ve journeyed with the Lord over the last 40+ days from the wonder of his Resurrection, to the glory of his Ascension on Thursday and now to the eager anticipation of Pentecost, when Jesus sends His Holy Spirit to breathe life into the Church, just as the Spirit was breathed into Adam and Eve at the beginning of time.  The Holy Spirit bringing new life!!!

Today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles brings us to those moments – maybe filled with some fear, but faithful to Jesus’ command to wait expectantly – when Our Lady and the Apostles are waiting in the upper room for whatever will happen.  Can you imagine it: ten days of waiting?  Maybe it was their experience of lockdown in some way, and maybe we can see that there can be fruit from our own lockdown?  If we use the time wisely, faithful to prayer and always expectant that God will bring blessings in some way, then our hearts will be open to the new thing that the Holy Spirit wants to do in each and everyone of us.  He wants to breathe new life into us as he breathed it into Mary, Peter and the others on that amazing Pentecost morning.

And in today’s Gospel Jesus gives us some insight into what that breathing in of the Holy Spirit is all about.  Jesus says that his death and resurrection will glorify the Father, but he goes on to say that we, the Church, will glorify him as we live our lives in the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Father and the Son, living in each and every one of us.  And this life in the Spirit is, Jesus tells us, eternal life.  Eternal life isn’t just for when we die, but begins in the here and now as we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us up more and more, enabling us to follow Jesus ever more closely each day of our lives. 

So, as we journey towards Pentecost, let’s open our hearts, our spirits, our lives to the presence of the Spirit of Jesus living within us, in eager anticipation of next Sunday when we pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the whole Church, beginning with each of us wherever we may be.  You may want to pray along with some members of the parish each day at 5.30pm, logging onto Zoom using the identity number:  or you may just want to say a simple prayer inviting the Holy Spirit into your life in a few moments of quiet each day.  Whatever you choose to do, be expectant for the wonders that the Holy Spirit can do, as Mary and the Apostles were as they prayed and shared patiently in their time of waiting.

Come Holy Spirit,

Fill the hearts of your faithful;

Enkindle in them the fire of your love.

Send forth your Spirit

And they will be created

And you will renew the face of the earth.