April 7, 2018
John 20:19-23…”Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” vss. 21-22
In John’s gospel, the commissioning of the disciples happens just prior to the giving of the Holy Spirit. It’s a vivid reminder that those who follow Jesus have a mission that is identical to his. We too, have been sent by God with good news for the world. And like Jesus, we are endowed with the Holy Spirit–the active, dynamic presence of God goes with us on the journey. John is specific about the nature of the mission, too: we are sent to bring the forgiveness of sins–it’s the most precious gift we have to offer. Sadly, by medieval times, the church had figured out ways to monetize forgiveness through the sale of indulgences and the mission was horribly distorted. That’s how it is with us. Because of the insidious nature of sin, we turn gold into dross and even turn grace into law. But God hasn’t given up! The mission hasn’t gone away. With every generation, a fresh crop of disciples is sent to offer forgiveness to every hurting sinner. The need hasn’t gone away. If anything, we need the cleansing, empowering energy of grace more than ever. May God breathe on us the desire and opportunity to be faithful to our calling.
Thought for the Day: Why doesn’t the Spirit keep us from sinning?