Pentecost Sunday - Year C
NOT A DOVE, NOT A FLAME, BUT A PERSON!
If you were asked to draw a picture of God the Son, you might sketch a young man with long hair and a beard. If you were asked to draw a picture of God the Father, you might fashion an image of an older man with white hair. How would you draw a picture of the Holy Spirit? Most artists have been content with using images from the Bible--a dove or a flame. Is this adequate?
Jesus' description of the Holy Spirit is that of a person. "I will ask the Father and he will send you another defender. When he comes... he will guide you to all truth." (Jn 15:16; 16:13) The best image of the Holy Spirit might be that of the Russian Icon by Andrei Rublev, a 15th century artist. He portrays three visitors to Abraham mentioned in Genesis 18. They are identical in appearance, though their clothing differs.
The point is that God the Holy Spirit is a loving, caring and beautiful person. The Holy Spirit should be treated in the same way as God the Father and God the Son.
AS A BODY IS ONE
The central point in Paul's teaching is the notion that all of Jesus' followers are united. This is more than a symbolic unity--that we are together in a common faith. Paul believes that there is a real physical and mental link between us. He uses the human body as an illustration of this basic thought.
Your body is a combination of many individual components: hands, feet, eyes, bones, etc. Today, we might compare it with a computer that has a monitor, keyboard, central processor, modem--all linked together by wires (or even wireless). Each part is harmonized by our brain, or more specifically, by our soul. When the soul leaves the body, the individual parts no longer act in harmony.
The Holy Spirit is the connecting link in our faith-body. He (or She) harmonizes our individual gifts for the benefit of the whole community.
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