There is an alternative gospel for Pentecost C. The settings the last supper while the first option is a resurrection appearance. They have completely different focuses.

The first option distributes the Holy Spirit as the fabric of peace in the community of the apostles to preserve the forgiveness and healing of which Jesus spoke so often as necessary for their success in the mission. The North American Church is in pieces, not just the clergy scandals, horrible enough, but the theological and liturgical bickering that goes goes on.

These are the wounds in the body of Christ today. Jesus shows us these wounds to remind them that it is really himself, but also to confront them again with the consequences of the violence of sin. While we may tend to hide from the wounds of others and even our own, in order to get to the healing, we must confront the wounds. There’s no turning aside.

This confrontation, an acknowledgment of the presence of the consequences of sin and violence, is absolutely necessary for the healing to take place. In terms of reconciliation it means to listen to what has happened to the other. This is first. The listener must remain silent, yet with the active engagement of hearkening to the other person. One can’t sit there and be thinking of what to say nexts or in response. There is no response. The response is the Spirit and Jesus Christ, that’s the next words, not some personal story to top the story of the other person. The forgiveness does not come from the self, but from Jesus whose spirit we share.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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