June 5, Pentecost Sunday
Acts 2:1-11; 1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13; Gospel John 20:19-23
Holy Spirit serenity bolsters our fears and empowers us to greet one another with "Peace be with you."
In today's Gospel, Jesus greeted His disciples twice: "Peace be with you." The first greeting happened when the disciples hid in a room because of their fear of the Jews. Jesus said, "Peace be with you." The second one was when Jesus "breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'"
The word "PEACE" in Hebrew is "SHALOM." Aside from using the word "shalom" as a Hebrew greeting, it is known worldwide as being at PEACE. (Spell it out: P.E.A.C.E.) And for me, "shalom" also means: being one PIECE again. (Spell it out: P.I.E.C.E.)
That was why Jesus greeted the disciples, filled with fear: "Peace be with you." They were so broken, and Jesus wanted them to become one piece again.
Also, the disciples experienced spiritual death, and Jesus breathed on them to bring life back to them, saying: "Receive the Holy Spirit."
Incidentally, the word "spirit" in Hebrew is "RUAH" meaning "breath." And "breath" symbolizes "life." Therefore, when Jesus breathed on them, the Holy Spirit gave back to them LIFE. So it goes: from death to life!
Then comes the First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles, where the disciples gathered as one community of believers on Pentecost Day. They received the Holy Spirit. There appeared to be tongues of fire resting on each one of them. And they began to proclaim the mighty acts of God to the nations.
And so it goes: from fear to faith! This is the beginning of the Church of believers with life in the Holy Spirit.
Thus, with our faith in Jesus, we receive the Holy Spirit. Like in the Second Reading, we become the children and "heirs of God."
And so we become one PIECE again, as individuals and as a community.
Then we can greet each other: "Peace be with you!"
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.