easter, sunday 6

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This Sundays reading is all about the Holy Spirit, and clearly is preparation for Pentecost which is just around the corner. What surprises me this time around with these readings is that statement of the Samaritans being receptive to Jesus gospel. When I think of them receiving His words,  I also think of Jesus telling the story of the Good Samaritan and recall the animosity that existed between Samaria and Jerusalem. Yet now those apostles tell of their baptism into the faith, and that acceptance gives so much insight into that Holy Spirit that is to come. It tells of a Spirit that breaks down barriers, builds bridges, and protects that which is sacred, and it tells that by those people accepting Christ’s message. Barriers indeed needed to be broken to simple start a dialogue, and bridges needed to join that which had been separated for so long. Other areas that each group considered sacred to their being certainly must have been carefully respected and not trampled on. It is that gospel of Christ guided through the Holy Spirit and that spirit can be so described in what remains after a conflict is resolved. That is peace that is the Spirit of Christ. It is not détente, or a truce, or a declaration of peace; but is the complete resolution of conflict that allows for prosperity. It is not simply the absence of violence and conflict, but the true presence of peace. In reading that first reading I also can not miss that reading in light of the meeting currently beginning in Jerusalem today between Eastern and Roman Christianity. That too is not simply about calling a truce, but is about continuing a dialogue guided by that Holy Spirit, in order to bring the fullness of the peace of Christ back to His church. As the liturgical calendar progresses to Pentecost, the discussion of the Holy Spirit will be expanded more fully, but for today thinking of that Spirit in terms of true peace might be worth considering. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid

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