St John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta
4th June 2017
On the first day on Easter Sunday, Jesus told his disciples: “receive the Holy Spirit, those whom you forgive, their sins will be forgiven” (Jn 20, 22-23). At the beginning of his ministry he had to confront the Pharisees because when he forgave the sins of the man who was paralysed or disabled, they objected. Only God can forgive sins (cf. Mt 9, 2.5). Today we remember that with the gift of the Holy Spirit, he gives his Church the power to forgive, the strength to reconcile humanity. And so we rejoice and the fact that at Pentecost we also commemorate the beginning of the Church and her ministry to reconcile people.
In the Second Reading we had a short reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians. At one point St Paul says: We were all baptised in one spirit, we all drank from one spirit”(v. 13). To be baptised, to be a member of the Church, to be incorporated in Jesus Christ, is something that the Spirit works in us and through the ministry of the Church. And it is the same with the Eucharist. At the Eucharist, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are nourished, nurtured by one spirit so that we become one body.
Today we pray for reconciliation and peace. We pray for the victims of London’s terrible attack yesterday and we all pray that the Church may be an instrument of this reconciliation, of this mercy that Jesus gives through his spirit.
✠ Charles J. Scicluna
Archbishop of Malta