Newly arisen from the dead, Christ gave us his body and his breath, which is the Spirit for the forgiveness of sins.
For Pentecost Sunday: John 20:19-23
Today in the Gospel, we return with the first disciples, the whole Church and the Spirit to the day of the Resurrection itself, the first Easter Sunday.
Newly arisen from the dead, Christ shows to us HIMSELF and the power of the Holy Spirit.
First, he shows us his BODY— with open wounds in his hands and his side.
It is his real BODY, arisen from the dead.
Secondly, he BREATHES on us, and says: Receive the Holy SPIRIT.
Thirdly, he says: Whose SINS you FORGIVE are forgiven them….
Thus three great things: the human BODY, the BREATH or SPIRIT of God, and the FORGIVENESS OF SINS.
We see these three also in the beginnings of human life on earth: BODY, BREATH, and SIN.
In the book of beginnings, Genesis, we see the Lord create the universe and humanity.
In the beginning, the Lord God formed of dust from the earth a BODY.
Just so, the first great sign the Risen Lord shows in his Resurrection Gospel is the BODY.
In his Resurrection, he shows us his real BODY— raised from the dead and now everlastingly glorified, but a real human body nonetheless.
Genesis tells us that after the Lord God shaped the first human body from the earthen elements, he then BREATHED his own BREATH, the SPIRIT of Life, into the earthly human BODY.
So, in the resurrection of Christ, the second important sign is the BREATH of God, the giving of the SPIRIT.
In his Resurrection, the Lord BREATHES out the Holy BREATH, the HOLY SPIRIT, upon the beginnings of his Church which is his BODY— just as at the beginnings of all humanity the Lord had BREATHED his SPIRIT into humanity’s earthen BODY.But after the first beginning, Genesis shows us that living humanity went on to SIN against God.
So, the third sign in the resurrection of Christ is the commission to FORGIVE SINS.
And so, in the Resurrection of Christ, God creates our humanity all over in a new way: the human BODY, the BREATH or SPIRIT of God, and the FORGIVENESS OF SINS.
The apostles were the first to know these truths and pass them on.
On the first Pentecost Sunday, fifty days after Christ rose from the dead, God publicly revealed these truths and their power in the midst of the apostles and the whole Church.
The Resurrection of Christ together with the Power of the Spirit is the New and Everlasting Truth of the Human Race— the New Beginning of the human race.
The New Beginning is handed over to us.
It is planted in us and we are planted in it in the sacraments, especially Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist.
Most especially in the Eucharist, our real BODIES receive the promise and the beginning of resurrection, and God’s Spirit BREATHES within us.
In the Eucharist, the present world of bread and wine comes to an end.
In the Eucharist, there is only the reality of Christ in his Real Body and Real Blood with the unity, truth and power of the Holy Spirit.
We eat and drink the glory that God offers to his sons and daughters.
What will we do with our bodily lives, what will we do with the Holy Spirit and the glory that God has already given us— the glory that we eat, drink and celebrate this day?
What will we do?
Turn. Love. Repeat.
Dear Readers of “Turn. Love. Repeat.”
California where I reside had a new law go into effect on January 1, 2020. California Assembly Bill 5 forbids freelance writers, editors and photographers from providing more than 34 content submissions to a media organization per year unless the organization hires the freelancer as a salaried employee. Patheos is a media organization, and I am a freelancer. So now I must limit my posts to 34 per year, or 1 post about every 10 days.
So as not to exceed my legal limit, between my postings here at Patheos I will publish my “extra” pieces at my personal blog, Monk Notes.