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Receiving the New Law to Begin the New Exodus

A reflection on the Solemnity of the Pentecost

By Fr. Azam Vianney Mansha, CJM

Today, our Mother Church commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and the other disciples (Acts 2:1-31). This day is also referred to as “the birth of the Church.” As such, Pentecost is one of the most important feasts in the Church, not only to mark its birth, but also to remember how the Law was received to begin the New Exodus.

Going back first, the Old Exodus began when the Hebrew people kept the Word of God and slaughtered lambs. This very action of obedience initiated the process of their Exodus, which led them to walk miraculously through the Red Sea. They marched towards the Promised Land under the direction of Moses. The Hebrews arrived on the 50th day at Mount Sinai where Moses received the Law, which is better known as “the Ten Commandments.”

As for the New Exodus, Jesus, the Lamb of God (John 1:34), offered His life on the Cross and gave His Body and Blood to the disciples, saying, “Do this in memory of me.” After His Resurrection from the dead, He again enriched his disciples for another 40 days on earth and strengthened them to abide by His Law through the gift of the Holy Spirit on the 50th day known as Pentecost. As Moses went up to the mountain to receive the Law, so too did Jesus go up to heaven during the Ascension so that the Father may send the Holy Spirit to remind the community of believers of the Law of Jesus, and that is, to “love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (Jn 13:34). St. Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, helps the community of believers to understand love. He wrote to them, “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude” (1 Cor 13:4-7).

Indeed, the Law of Jesus to love one another is a call to be patient with our brothers and sisters who have done wrong to us; it is an action to be kind to the suffering humanity; and, it is our vocation to be humble before the Lord so that God can make us instruments of mercy to serve, spread and live according to the Law of Jesus Christ.

Let us never forget the words of the Holy Church Father, St. Augustine of Hippo, who said, “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” In short, we must not forget to do the seven acts of mercy (Mt 25:35-37).

May Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother, intercede for us to respond to our call to love one another; to put into action the love we have for one another; and, to be humble before the Lord so that He may dispense His loving mercy through us.

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