The Spirit Unites Us into One Body: Pentecost 2013
By: Father Jim Donohue CR, posted: 2013-05-13
St. John Chrysostom wrote, “He whom we love and lose is no longer where he was before; he is now wherever we are.” This quotation seems to articulate the experience of Mary of Magdala when she encounters the Risen Lord and hears that she must let go, for he will be ascending “to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17). It is difficult for her to let go of the one that she loved for she is experiencing the loss of a certain way of relating to Jesus. But, as she does let go, she is able to experience the Risen Lord in a new way through the Holy Spirit. It is this Holy Spirit who enables Mary and every other disciple to experience Jesus as Risen Lord in ways that transcend geographical and historical limitations.
Today, the Holy Spirit continues to unite us to Jesus so that he is as close to us as we are to ourselves. This happens especially through our prayer and worship. But, the Holy Spirit also continues to unite us to Jesus in his body, the Church. Here, as we gather, Jesus is present in our midst. Here, as we read the scriptures, Jesus speaks his Word to us. Here, as we celebrate the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, Jesus heals, forgives, reconciles, strengthens, and nourishes us. It is through the Holy Spirit that we are called to be a people and to see one another, not as strangers, but as brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.
The Resurrectionist Charism statement articulates this same belief about the importance of being gathered into a community by the Holy Spirit when it states: “We believe that God calls us to live together as brothers—sharing the gifts that we have received, supporting one another, praying and working together for his glory. He has called us to BE a community, which is a living sign of the gospel values of justice, truth, and love.” It is the hope of every Resurrectionist that, through the Holy Spirit, we will be a faithful community giving witness to gospel values, serving as a sign or leaven in our world. Similarly, the Church as a whole is called to this same mission: to live, through the Holy Spirit, as the one Body of Christ, being a sign or leaven for our world. United by the Holy Spirit we give witness to the new possibilities of living as Christ’s Body in the world today.