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This Sunday, 50 days after Easter, we celebrate the great Feast of Pentecost. Before ascending to the Father, Jesus commissioned the apostles to spread the Good News to the ends of the world. The Good News brings hope that transforms lives.
Jesus knew that his disciples were fragile. He promised to send the Holy Spirit upon them. On Pentecost Sunday the Holy Spirit enabled the apostles to witness to the Resurrection and to the hope that comes from faith in the Risen Lord.
What a remarkable transformation in the apostles who had been broken men on Good Friday. Their beloved was dead, their hopes crushed and they were riddled with guilt at their own failure. Everything seemed lost. However, this was not the last word, far from it. To their amazement Jesus rose from the dead. The triumphant Lord had conquered sin and death, humanity’s great enemies. The Resurrection transformed everything and Jesus sent the disciples into the world to share this Good News with others. Very quickly people embraced the hope that is Christ. Countless lives were transformed. When people cooperate with God’s grace beautiful things will happen.
Today we continue to need the hope which is the Risen Lord. This has always been true but perhaps the anxiety of the past two months has highlighted it for us. Yet no calamity must every have the last word!
This Pentecost let us allow the Spirit to renew us, to transform us in the deepest core of our being. Then, like the first disciples, we can become bearers of the hope that is Christ.
Bishop Brian McGee
St Columba’s Cathedral, Oban