John 20:19-23

From the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday to the celebration of Pentecost the Church has marked out a path for us to follow. We have walked in the wilderness with Israelites, fasted in the desert with Jesus, followed him as he taught and worked miracles, we have sat at the table in the Upper Room, fallen asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane, stood in the cold in the courtyard of the High Priest’s house, we have watched from a distance as he drew his last breath on the cross, we have run early in the morning to the tomb, we have had breakfast on the beach in Tiberias and now Jesus stands before us saying:

Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.

How and where we follow Jesus is up to us now. We are promised the Spirit as a helper and comforter. We must watch and wait for the promptings of the Spirit. We must be attentive to the Spirit and prepared for anything. St Cyril of Jerusalem speaks of the gentle presence of the Spirit:

‘The Spirit comes gently and makes himself known by his fragrance. He is not felt as a burden, for he is light…The Spirit comes with the tenderness of a true friend and protector to save, to heal, to teach, to counsel, to strengthen, to console.’

Where will the Spirit lead you today?