FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
PENTECOST SUNDAY – SOLEMNITY
June 9, 2019
WORD of the DAY
If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always. “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.
“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that [I] told you.
(John 14: 15-16, 23-26 )
How shall I live this Word?
The classical languages know three grammatical ‘genders’ to classify nouns: besides the ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’, there is also ‘neutral’. When the Gospel of John speaks of the Holy Spirit in one of the verses we hear today, it presents with astonishing boldness an unforgivable grammatical error, associating the neutral word ‘Spirit’ (in Greek tò pnèuma) with a pronoun in the masculine gender (‘he’ in Greek ekèinos). It is an imperceptible dissonance for us moderns, but which the reader or listener of the first centuries could well perceive, and which today astounds only some classical Greek scholars. Speaking of the “Paraclete, the Holy Spirit …”, saying that “He will teach you everything”, the Gospel puts the spotlight not on an abstract concept or a force of nature, but on a Person, the only one who can teach us everything and lead us faithfully back to the correct interpretation of Jesus’ words. The Church, inspired by the same Spirit, is driven by Him to return to its sources, to seek and preserve the words of the Master, rediscovering them more current and alive than ever. Jesus is alive today among us, and He is recognized as “Lord” by a people that welcomes His Spirit and recognizes itself as “Church”, a people regenerated and called to be leaven for a rebirth of the world.
My commitment today will be to reflect that it was the Lord who first committed Himself to me: He has an important project and wants to flood me with His love. I will therefore limit myself to guarding a vigilance that allows me to see how He is preparing a path for my life. I will work to observe the signs of the times, to have my ear attentive so as not to be indifferent to a God who today more than never speaks my same language.
The Voice of Cyril of Jerusalem, Church Father
“I am intoxicated, yes, but of that sober intoxication that makes sins die, enlivens the heart, and is the opposite of material inebriation. This makes you forget what you already know; and instead gives the knowledge of what was previously unknown.
Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy
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