Pentecost 2014

“And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit.” (John 20:22)

Saint Augustine of Hippo offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“But the reason why, after his resurrection, he both gave the Holy Spirit, first on earth, and afterward sent him from heaven, is in my judgment this: that “love is shed abroad in our hearts,” by that gift itself, whereby we love God and our neighbors, according to those two commandments, “on which hang all the law and the prophets.” And Jesus Christ signified this by giving them the Holy Spirit once on earth because of the love of our neighbor and a second time from heaven because of the love of God. And if some other reason may perhaps be given for this double gift of the Holy Spirit, at any rate we ought not to doubt that the same Holy Spirit was given when Jesus breathed on them, of whom he says, “Go, baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” where this Trinity is especially commended to us. It is therefore he who was also given from heaven on the day of Pentecost, that is, ten days after the Lord ascended into heaven.” (On the Trinity, 15)

Easter Collect
O God, who by the mystery of today’s great feast
sanctify your whole Church in every people and nation,
pour out, we pray, the gifts of the Holy Spirit
across the face of the earth
and, with the divine grace that was at work
when the Gospel was first proclaimed,
fill now once more the hearts of believers.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord is risen! Alleluia!
He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!