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Fr. Michael's Thoughts on Biblical Imagery: The Mark


(Fr Michael Boakye Yeboah: Vice Rector of St Gregory Seminary, Kumasi-Ghana)


            Today marks the end of the Easter season. The Church closes this beautiful season with the Solemnity of Pentecost. On Pentecost Sunday we celebrate the feast of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles and distinctively marked them out from people of the world. The mark that the Holy Spirit imprinted on the Apostles sealed them up completely for Jesus.

            This mark of Jesus’ ownership of us is very important if we are to be saved. If you read the book of Revelation we are told that at the end of time, when Jesus comes to pick his own, he will know them by the marks on their foreheads. The children of God will be marked with the sign of the Cross while those going to damnation will have the mark of the beast. Christians normally receive this mark of Jesus’ ownership of them when they have completed the Sacrament of initiation.

            Now, the Holy Spirit is one. He is the same in everyone who receives him. The Holy Spirit that is in you is the same one that is in me. He is not different. That is why St. Paul says in the second reading that, “one Spirit was given to us all to drink.” That is because we all have received the same baptism. All who have been baptized with water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19) have received the same baptism. That is why the same Holy Spirit is in them all “…one Spirit has been given to them all to drink.”

            The difference lies in the active presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit so we should make him feel at home and not drive him away with our actions. If someone lives in a house where he does not feel happy, it is likely that he may abandon the house and find a peaceful dwelling place. But if we make the Holy Spirit feel at home in us then we can say with Paul that “…if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you” (Romans 8:10-11).

            I wish you all a Happy Feast of Pentecost.


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