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Dear brothers and sisters,
While Ascension marks the continuation of Jesus’ saving work through his apostles, this mission is launched at Pentecost by the power of the Holy Spirit, heralding the birth of the Church. We celebrate this Sunday the Solemnity of Pentecost, which concludes the Easter Season.
In her message, Our Lady foretells a new Pentecost, which prepares us for the glorious reign of Her Son Jesus when He comes again. For this, She invites all to enter into the cenacle of Her Immaculate Heart in the expectation of receiving in fullness the Holy Spirit. We will read “Come, Holy Spirit,” Message 226, taken from the book “To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons.”
I. GOSPEL READING (John 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.”
Points for Reflection
The Pentecost event was an explosion of fulfilled promises. What Jesus “breathed” on the apostles on that evening of his Resurrection and what he told them as “power” before his Ascension is manifested at last as “a strong driving wind” and “tongues as of fire.” The Pentecost event begins the Holy Spirit’s awesome witness to Jesus’ Person and mission.
The gathering of the disciples in John’s Easter narrative (Jn. 20:19) looks similar to Luke’s account in the First Reading where the disciples were also “gathered” (Acts 2:1). A very significant detail for the Pentecost event, this foreshadows the Church soon-to-be-born. This gathering at Pentecost coincides with the time when Jews gather in Jerusalem to celebrate their birth as God’s People in the covenant (Lev. 23:15-21; Deut. 16:9-11). This time, the Holy Spirit, given on the “evening” of the Resurrection, is manifested as “a strong driving wind” and “tongues as of fire.” What the Jews celebrate in that feast turns out to be the birth of the Church, the new People of God in the New Covenant. This outpouring of the Spirit also launches the newly born Church to its mission. “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim” (Acts 2:4).
On the evening of His Resurrection, Jesus “breathed” the life-giving Spirit on the apostles (Jn. 20:22), reminiscent of creation when God formed man out of dust and breathed into him His Spirit (Gen. 2:27). The life-giving Spirit for John is the empowering Spirit for Luke. Manifested like “a strong driving wind” and “tongues of fire,” the Pentecost event makes an allusion to the creation account when “a mighty wind swept over the waters . . . and then there was light” (Gen. 1:2-3).
In creation, Divine Will forms man “in God’s image and likeness,” imparting to him divine life. Lost by sin, the Resurrection brings back this great inheritance, which the Holy Spirit pours out at Pentecost. At baptism, we receive this outpouring of divine life, by which we are made a “new creation.” Living out our baptism brings transformation to all creation.
Our Lady’s presence at Pentecost is very significant. She is there as “Mother” to the disciples, fulfilling what Jesus entrusted to her (Jn. 19:26). She was in fact with them right after the Ascension, devoted in prayer with them at the upper room in anticipation of the Holy Spirit, as Jesus promised (Acts 1:12-14). On that fateful day of Pentecost, she was there the taking part in the second prodigy of the Holy Spirit – the birth of the Church. Thus, she becomes Mother of the Church. It is unthinkable for the Church to be without a mother, just as it is for the mysterious birth by the Holy Spirit to be without a spouse.
Mary’s presence at Pentecost reminds us how we must live as a church, the way it has been foreshadowed and born. The Preface of the Mass (on the Memorial of Mary, Model and Mother of the Church) remarkably evokes this image: “As the apostles awaited the Spirit you had promised, Mary joined her supplication to the prayers of the disciples and so became the pattern of the Church at prayer.”
June 7, 1981
Solemnity of Pentecost
Points for Reflection
No other person could be closer to the Holy Spirit than Our Lady. As “Spouse of the Holy Spirit,” She is profoundly united with the Third Divine Person. So mystical, yet, it is a true spousal union, which brings forth a mysterious birth. Because of this, She can obtain for us “in superabundance, from the Father and the Son, the Spirit of Love” (226 b). Thus, She teaches us a new way of invoking the Holy Spirit. “Come, Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well-beloved Spouse” (226 k).
Talking about the Spirit “in superabundance,” Our Lady foretells a new Pentecost, which is about to come (426 b, 521 h, o, 594 i, 595 a). “It will be a divine fire of purification and of sanctification which will renew all the face of the earth (355 b). By this divine fire, the Church will be renewed and transformed, the whole world will be made new and new heavens and a new earth will be opened (226 c). “That which is being prepared is so great that its equal has never existed since the creation of the world” (435 d).
To dispose ourselves to receive this “divine fire,” Our Lady invites us into the cenacle of Her Immaculate Heart (226 d), the “new and spiritual cenacle” through which we receive the gift of the new Pentecost” (404 c, 428 c). Because this involves “a new and universal effusion of the Holy Spirit,” the prodigy of the Second Pentecost can only take place, in the spiritual cenacle of her Immaculate Heart” (335 b, 521 d). For, the Spirit cannot resist the voice of the Spouse who calls to Him for such great magnitude of outpouring of gifts (521 n).
In our cenacles, let us live the spirit of Pentecost. United in prayer with Our Lady, let us invoke the Holy Spirit: “Come, Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well- beloved Spouse.”
God bless you all!
Yours in the Immaculate Heart,
This reflection is shared with all cenacle and other prayer groups (priests and laity), communities and Marian organizations, associations and movements within and outside of the Philippines, with Our Lady’s words transcribed verbatim for those who do not have copies of the messages. This may also be shared with private individuals for their personal use.
Our Lady's messages are taken from the book: "To the Priests, Our Lady's Beloved Sons", a compilation of 604 messages in the form of locutions given by the Blessed Virgin Mary through Fr. Stefano Gobbi of Italy.
Imprimatur: Bishop Donald W. Montrose, D.D., 1998
Archbishop Francesco Cuccarese, 2007