Pentecost concludes our Easter season. After Jesus returned to the Father, the apostles experienced the Holy Spirit that descended on them in what sounded like a powerful wind and what looked like flames of fire. Wind and fire are two powerful natural elements that the book of the Acts of the Apostles uses to describe the effects of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles. This new power given to the apostles pushes them out to start preaching the good news.
In the gospel passage, Jesus breathes his Spirit on his disciples, locked in behind closed doors for fear of the Jewish leaders, and missions them: “As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.” It is this Holy Spirit that accompanies the apostles in their mission and ministry of spreading the good news.
Paul reminds the Church in Corinth that they will only be able to proclaim that Jesus is Lord when enlightened by the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who gives them the power to proclaim, each in their own different role, as members of the one body.
The Holy Spirit is the soul of the missionary Church as it goes forth to proclaim the good news to all peoples.
Although at the beginning of the twentieth century the Church rarely spoke about the Holy Spirit, Joseph De Piro believed that the Spirit was the source of the Church’s missionary activity.
Between 1922 and 1933, he published an almanac San Paul: Almanakk tal-Istitut tal-Missjoni. In the articles De Piro often referred to the work of the Holy Spirit. The following are some examples:
“The Spirit of God inspired all authors of the bible to write the Scriptures” (1922);
“The Spirit of God fills the bishops with zeal, to support in every possible way, the missionary activity of the Church’s” (1923);
“The Holy Spirit is the source of the ad gentes missionary spirit of the popes” (1926);
“The Third person of the Trinity moves believers over the world to work in favour of those who do not yet believe” (1926).