The giving of the Spirit to the
new people of God crowns the mighty acts of the Father in
salvation history. The Jewish feast of Pentecost called all
devout Jews to Jerusalem to celebrate their birth as God's
chosen people in the covenant Law given to Moses at Sinai
(see Leviticus 23:15-21; Deuteronomy 16:9-11).
In today's First Reading, the mysteries prefigured in that
feast are fulfilled in the pouring out of the Spirit on Mary
and the Apostles (see Acts 1:14). The Spirit seals the new
law and new covenant brought by Jesus, written not on stone
tablets but on the hearts of believers, as the prophets promised
(see Jeremiah 31:31-34; 2 Corinthians 3:2-8; Romans 8:2).
The Spirit is revealed as the life-giving breath of the Father,
the Wisdom by which He made all things, as we sing in today's
In the beginning, the Spirit came as a "mighty wind"
sweeping over the face of the earth (see Genesis 1:2). And
in the new creation of Pentecost, the Spirit again comes as
"a strong, driving wind" to renew the face of the
As God fashioned the first man out of dust and filled him
with His Spirit (see Genesis 2:7), in today's Gospel we see
the New Adam become a life-giving Spirit, breathing new life
into the Apostles (see 1 Corinthians 15:45, 47).
Like a river of living water, for all ages He will pour out
His Spirit on His body, the Church, as we hear in today's
Epistle (see also John 7:37-39). We receive that Spirit in
the sacra-ments, being made a "new creation" in
Baptism (see 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15).
Drinking of the one Spirit in the Eucharist (see 1 Corinthians
10:4), we are the first fruits of a new humanity-fashioned
from out of every nation under heaven, with no distinctions
of wealth or language or race, a people born of the Spirit.