“ARISE, LET US GO HENCE”
Saint John 14. 23-31
WHITSUNDAY—THE FEAST OF PENTECOST
8 June Anno + Domini 2014
Fr. Jay Watson SSP
In The Name + of Jesus
Your “old Adam” does not love Jesus. The fact that this very statement “rankles” you proves that. If Adam who could have resisted sin—treason—patricide, and didn’t, why do you doubt that your sinful nature resists, rebels and yes, hates the Lord? Repent!
The Law says clearly both in Torah and in Christ’s summary: love God above all things and love your neighbor as yourself. You don’t and the fact that this doesn’t bother you more than it does is absolute proof that you don’t! Repent!
And how do you truly have contrition and Godly remorse? How do you sincerely confess with real repentance and not just feigned ritualistic motion?
Jesus! And what does God’s Name mean? Not the name of a generic and amorphous “god” but the Name of The God/Man Messiah in flesh and blood? His Name is The + Name above all names. Jesus = Savior. Jesus saves you from your un-love by His love—Love Incarnate—“doing and active love.” The Lord’s Christ loves you in keeping the two Great Commands. The Savior saves you from your hate and murder by being hated, persecuted, tortured and murdered in your stead at Golgotha! He fills you with this, what is the Gospel, by His Paraclete who proceeds from Him and His Father.
The Father and Son witnessed the Holy Spirit hovering over the face of the deep at the beginning. The same Father, as Jesus promised, sent this Comforter to the Apostles that Sunday in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. The promise, The Word of Truth, given to Saint Joel bore fruition amongst the “12” and those gathered in the upper room.
The Spirit’s Wind, the “breath” of God but not in an impersonal way, rather in a Personality of Love and advocacy does the work of Trinitarian ministry by delivering the Second Person in all of His Ascended and Glorified fullness. This Third Person once looked, or appeared as a dove; He was not a bird, but God, fully God. He, on the day we celebrate this morn, looked, or appeared as cloven tongues of flame; He was not fire, but God, fully God. He came to the Apostles and made His abode with them. The Holy Ghost filled Peter and the rest with God. “What does this mean?” Jesus told them and He tells you, for the same Spirit, not dove, not flickering fire, but The Word in all His saving presence, descended upon you too at the + Holy Font—where you once gathered with the Saints. There also, was a rushing wind, the moving waters, not of the Pool of Siloam, but of Christ’s gushing water and Blood, and you were made an apostle, a God-talker, a “little ambassador” of your Brother the High King. Jesus told all His Church: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.” That peace is Jesus Himself.
Pentecost is not a past Holy Day but a daily and highly active reality. Pentecost is both your Baptisms filling and animating you moment by moment and it is also Christ’s restoration of all things beginning in His children—His first fruits, His branches, His living stones, His brothers and sisters. It is His work and His Blood transfusions bringing to life His beloved—you! Pentecost is also the very life of the Church, the ever-present Office of the Holy Ministry in your midst until the end of the age. For in the Apostolic Office the Holy Ghost is ALSO ever present stewarding the gifts of Christ which gather His people in Mass and Gottesdienst (God’s Service). The priest, pastor, New Testament Apostle, does nothing but serve as “house attendant” so that the Paraclete might “call, gather, and enlighten” you in/with/under Jesus—the Jesus Who really is present—for you!
Holy Pentecost is you reading your Bible where the Spirit fills you with Jesus. Whitsunday is you remembering your Holy + Washing where the Spirit brings to mind what Jesus did at the Tree and at the Sacrament of Baptism—what He does in producing contrition and the daily drowning of “old man Adam.” Pentecost is where the Spirit given to your Pastor at his ordination, placing him into that “Office” which is “in the stead and by the command of Our Lord Jesus Christ” speaks Holy and perfect and total Absolution of all your foulness. The sending of the Holy Ghost is when you with un-plugged ears and loosed tongues receive Christ’s Word, both Law and Evangel in homilies and sermons, wherein the Spirit causes your faith to grasp Jesus as tightly as the Syro-Phoenician woman, the Magdalene, Thomas…where you cradle your Savior as dearly as the Blessed Theotokos did!
Christ went away, visibly, from you and He comes again and again in Feasting and Faith sustaining Absolution.
Hear the Holy Wind, the Breath of The Trinity? Hear the Son of Righteousness! You now this day unto the Eschaton “speak with other tongues” with New Voices the wonders of His love. You are His vessels of Peace and Reconciliation to all your neighbors. Here in the Church the curse of Babel is reversed and breached as surely as death and hell themselves. The Kingdom restored in devout harmony of prayer, praise and thanksgiving. Assembled in this Mt. Zion you the remnant, righteous In Him, are delivered from all weeping and pain, and you call upon the Name of The Lord. He now pours out His Spirit on all His servants. You drink not new wine but the Immortal and Eternal Blood of The Lamb—for as The Holy Ghost gives me utterance, and Christ Jesus speaks: “I forgive you all your sins…”
In The Name of The Father and of The + Son and of The Holy Ghost