Who owns the Spirit?   Leave a comment

My friend, Ted Schmidt, a prophet in the Roman Catholic faith tradition, posted this commentary about Pentecost:


Who owns the Spirit?


Pentecost—50 days after Easter.

It would be interesting to hear homilies in our churches on this day.

Was the Spirit absent from the world before Jesus? Hardly. The Holy One has been at work right from the beginning. The life force has been working within all of creation forever. It was this deep intuition, in the scripture it is called “kingdom” or basileia in the language of the New Testament, this felt reality which brought Jesus. He was hardly the first to be so touched. There have been other avatars.  Christians believe of course that his response was the fullest, a breakthrough moment in history. Ernst Troeltsch said this: “Jesus did not bring the kingdom, the kingdom brought Jesus” and it is bringing us—if we are open to its dynamism, creativity, relationality. One needs an evolutionary perspective to come close to understanding this.

We fumble with language, metaphor, ways of expressing this. Biblical words like Advocate and Comforter are not helpful.

So what did we hear in our churches? I don’t know. My hope is that we might first grasp the  Johannine wisdom that “the Spirit blows where it wills.” The Catholic Church has no exclusive claim to this. We all know people of no religion who exhibit Spirit like qualities and committed energy to justice and the common good to cosmic and global sustainability. They are vehicles of the holy energy.The kingdom has come close in these people.


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