Lectio Divina: 2022-06-03

Our Lectio Divina for this Friday focussed on the readings for Pentecost Sunday Year C.

John 20:19-23 As the Father sent me, so am I sending you: receive the Holy Spirit.

There is an official alternative Gospel, which we did on the 6th Sunday of Easter, however, two people were moved to to try it.

John 14:15-16, 23-26 The Holy Spirit will teach you everything.

There is a song in Spanish that one of the group has translated for us. It describes what the Breath of Jesus sending his Holy Spirit produces in us.

Sopla-cancion

You can hear the song ‘Sopla’ here.

‘Sopla means Breath.

Sopla was composed by: Martín Duarte, from a Metanoia Group.

The original title is ‘New fruit of your heaven’.

On John 20:19-23

One

“Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” I used to think that these words were about the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession. Today, I think they are about how we deal with wrongs done to us. I know how destructive anger, guilt and the refusal to forgive can be. I now realise that unless I forgive I will not have peace as I am the one who suffers not the person I am angry with, therefore if I don’t forgive, the other person is not forgiven. If I have done something wrong and am genuinely sorry I want to be forgiven and until I am I can’t have peace. I know I haven’t explained myself very well but I hope you understand what I am trying to say. The first thing Jesus said to the disciples was “Peace be with you.” He also said “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Without the Holy Spirit, we are not capable of forgiveness. Another example of the wonderful Mystery of the Holy Trinity.

God bless

Two

Peace to you is the phrase that pops out to me, Here is Jesus, once again coming to the aid of the disciples, they are afraid and He brings them peace and power, breathing the power of the Holy Spirit on them.

He does this for us too, it’s wonderful that as we read God’s Word we can receive His incredible peace, that He won for us. Available to us whenever we need it not anything to do with our circumstances but always there for us to take in, an incredible gift.

Thank you God let me carry this peace to others today.

God bless you all

Three

In the stillness of my prayer this morning I was aware of Jesus gently saying ” peace be with you”

A deep sense of calm filled my heart and soul. This peace is a deep internal “knowing” A peace that remains even in the troubled world where we see very little peace. If we “are” peace then that peace will be witnessed by others.

Jesus breathed on the disciples – the breath of God, Ruach, God’s breath fills our lungs. It is the source of our existence., our life force.

Jesus asks us to receive the Holy Spirit – this spirit that drives us and empowers us to live for God in everything we do. Jesus sends the disciples out as he sends us out too -filled with his spirit “to live and work for his praise and glory”

I can be like the disciples, locked away living in fear but God has other plans.!
In my pondering today as look inside and out – where is the Spirit in my life?

Love and blessings

Four

My reading of this Gospel passage coincides with my learning, or re-learning, about the power of the spoken blessing in the Jewish tradition which is also our tradition.

The blessing was for everyone to pass to others. As we know, in many parts of the Church the hierarchy gradually took over fairly exclusively roles that were for all the Faithful. Charisms are one example but spoken blessings also.

Now, in recent times, I had fallen out somewhat with the “Sign of Peace ” we passed around in our Catholic Mass. When it was taken away away as part of the restrictions I was not sorry. This was because of the way I had witnessed it. However, what a blessing might we not pass to each other when, eyeball to eyeball, we say: “The Peace of Christ be with you?” Not my peace, not “hello” or “Good morning” (as I have actually heard!)

I must confess, at other times, I often will say: “Bless you” whereas I should emphatically say “God bless you!” “Or “Bless you in Jesus’ name”. That is what I mean, but others might not know that. I keep making a resolution to be careful about it; it only takes a couple of seconds longer.

Today Jesus blesses the apostles and us with “Peace”. It is spoken aloud; I will allow myself to hear it.

To you all as I write it I say aloud:

“Be blessed with Peace in Jesus name. In Jesus’ name receive blessings in your health, in your relationships, in your work and in your finances. May you experience Joy in all circumstances in Jesus’ name and in that Holy Name may the fire of the Holy Spirit fall on you this weekend.” (in triplicate, carried on the Wind! -some blessings operate in “slow release”.)

Five

He breathed on them – v22

There are times when I may feel lost and searching for answers, and suddenly I am quickened and have a moment of awareness. It is as if the Holy Spirit breathes a new way of seeing into me. God knows exactly what has happened and I am left speechless. We May be stuck but God is never stuck.

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Six

Friends

Peace be with you – not a statement of fact, but a benediction.

Rather as we say “Good morning” – not as it is, but a deeply-felt wish that it will be so, perhaps even despite the weather.

And they were delighted; if there were a stronger word than that, the translators have not yet discovered it!

Then the commissioning – I am sending you. We call them apostles – perhaps envoys would be a better word.

And what did he offer to support them in this commission? He breathed on them, or expelled a sigh. What?

When we breathe in, we inspire; when we breathe out we expire, and both of these words has a double meaning.

Here Jesus’ outward breath is inspiring them – he was breathing out while they were breathing in. This is John’s equivalent of the Acts Pentecost account – the Holy Spirit-breath inspires them for their task.

For those who like words, spirare is both Latin and Italian for “to breathe”, and gives us the word “spirit”, and even “conspirators” – who whisper or breathe together!

This Pentecost, may the spirit of Christ that was in Jesus, breathe into us again and inspire us to continue with that life-purpose for which he has commissioned us.

Pax

Seven

My words were ‘He breathed on them: Receive the Holy Spirit’

Jesus did promised in the last weeks, that He wouldn’t let us alone, that He would send us His Advocate to be with us, to help us, to teach us, to lead us.

Today, He fulfils His promise and sends Him, but in, ( very used term nowadays), a very organic way, totally real in this case, by breathing His Spirit in. It reminds me of the passage in Genesis when God breaths into Adam and gives him life.

And in the same manner, Jesus’ breath gives us LIFE, life in Him, life to the full.

How simple and how beautiful, giving us part of Him, to make Him one in us, as the past Sunday’s Gospel said.

I am in deep awe, in deep gratitude, in deep joy.

Blessed be the Lord!

On John 14:15-16, 23-26

Eight

Chapter 14 v 15/16 = These are such powerful and important words that Jesus says. He is telling us simply to love him and everything else will fall into place. He is describing the Holy Trinity. Like the mechanics of a watch one cog will not work without the help and presence of the other cogs. All he is asking us to do is keep winding up the watch and it will continue to work for us. The power to wind will come from our faith. If we follow and obey his commands. (v 15) we are promised we will receive the Holy Spirit.

Nine

When I read this week’s gospel I am reminded of what Jesus said, the Holy Spirit is at work. I pray that I maybe more aware of the quiet working of God’s Spirit in my life.

I pray that my thoughts, needs and actions be open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
I might think of myself as a Temple of the Holy Spirit or I might reflect on Jesus’ image as he says that God is ‘ at home’ with me. This thought fills me with joy as I realise that God is comfortable and available in my being.