A Reflection on the Liturgies since Pentecost

(by Fr. Francis Gustilo)

I was reflecting on our rich liturgies since Pentecost Sunday, then last Holy Trinity Sunday and this coming Corpus Christi Sunday. How come they are in this order? Let me then venture my simple musings about them and hopefully it may suggest a way of celebrating well the culmination of this trilogy of solemn feast days of the Church.

First, PENTECOST. St Paul in his letter to the Romans asserts that we cannot acknowledge and say that “Jesus is indeed Lord” without the Holy Spirit abiding in us. We cannot at all proclaim anything to anyone [and so our being evangelistic and missionary is not possible] unless the Holy Spirit abides in us, unless we have received the gift of Christ’s death resurrection, who is the Holy Spirit. Just imagine how the very first disciples of Jesus were fearful despite the fact that they have met and seen the Risen Lord. They kept themselves hidden in the Upper Room and still had no courage to proclaim this Good [and all important] News. Moreover, St Paul also would write that we cannot call God “Abba” [Father] without the Spirit. How can we pray as Jesus taught us how to pray without fear but in an attitude of great love for God unless the Spirit made us accept Jesus and we come to receive in Jesus our being adopted sons and daughters of God?

Second, MOST HOLY TRINITY. In this vein with the Spirit in us, we come to appreciate and even grasp in a little way the great tenet of our Catholic faith: that God is indeed three persons and yet they are one divine nature. More importantly, this solemnity of the Church invites us to believe and live our belongingness to God – that is the Blessed Trinity is not an abstract doctrine of faith but that through Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit we are invited to enter into communion with them. … that our highest calling is to be with the Divine Trinity, not simply beside them or in front of them, but they in us and we in them, just as Jesus said “I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” This being the case, we never live in fear because if God is for us who can be against us.

Third, MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST. This invitation of the Divine Goodness to share the intimacy of their life and relationship cannot be effective unless we receive … thus accept this invitation. But how do we effectively gauge the fact that indeed we have accepted their invitation except by receiving the invitation of Jesus the Risen Christ to eat of His flesh and drink of His blood. The Holy Eucharist the sure fact that we have actually entered into God’s desired relationship with us. The Emannuel [God-with-us] of the mystery of the Incarnation continues and fulfills his I-am-with-you-always in his mystical Body the Church … she would gives us the sacraments and specifically the Eucharistic presence of Christ in our midst.

All this theology becomes abstract if we simply receive instruction through the Scriptures; instead it becomes a living reality and our conviction and way of life when we receive and live the meaning and reality of the Eucharist.

Frequently receive communion and you will experience the nearness and realize the truth of the mystery of the living God. May the Spirit we have lavishly and abundantly received in our CLS experience give us the inspiration and strength to receive the Eucharist less unworthily, more frequently and perseveringly.