Sunday, May 15, 2016

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor 

Quote of the Week: “Acquire inward peace and a multitude around you will find their salvation.” — St. Seraphin.

“Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Even at face value, it just doesn’t get any better than this. This is the good news.

Jesus hands over to his disciples (who are sinners) the gift of forgiveness. More specifically, he "breathed into them" the power to forgive and retain sin.

This is a gift come from God. Only God can truly forgive sin, and he always does. But through ministry and discipleship, this gift is and was to be shared so that anyone and everyone could experience the peace that comes with forgiveness, anyone and everyone could experience healing from shame and brokenness, anyone and everyone could find their selves returned to wholeness and holiness, and anyone and everyone could rediscover their dignity through the gift of God’s forgiveness and love.

But really, is it any surprise? Is this not, rather, typical of Jesus?

What keeps us down more than our shame and guilt? What prevents our movement forward more than our past sin and wrong doings? What cripples our hope for a better future more than our remembrances of a bad past?

Sin. It is powerful.

It is destructive. It infects at the core of our spirit, and is deeper than emotion and thought, and really is only healed in the spirit by the Spirit.

Pentecost is the sending of the Spirit. Pentecost is the real beginning of the church.

Pentecost is new life, healing, forgiveness and unity at the very core. The promise and the gift of the Holy Spirit was and is ours; it's our way to the Father, and our way to best know, understand and live the teachings of Jesus.

Our simple prayer should be said, and said often: “Come, Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of your faithful. Enkindle in them the fire of your love!”

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email perry.leiker@gmail.com. Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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