Feast of Pentecost
When One's Own Hurt becomes Prestige No
First Reading (Acts 2:1-11): The descent
of the Holy Spirit
Second Reading (1 Cor 12:3-7, 12-13): We all belong to the same body,
each have their own gifts
Gospel (Jn 20:19-23): Jesus appeared to the Apostles
Chinese Classics: -“The Giant's Garden”(1)
After Jesus had risen from the death, he appeared once to the Apostles
and said to them, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he
breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you
forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins
of any, they are retained.” (Ref Jn 20:19-23)
Shortly after the day of Pentecost came. The Acts of the Apostles states,
“they were all together in one place,
and suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent
wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided
tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each
of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.”
What happens when people are filled with the Holy Spirit? The First
Epistle to the Corinthians says, “No one
can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties
of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services,
but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is
the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given
the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
(Ref 1 Cor 12:3-7)
The Holy Spirit in our life helps us to serve and work, like a body,
though it has many parts, it is still one body —there are eyes, hands,
legs and head. According to the gifts of the Hoy Spirit each of us serves
the church and the world.
Our church is a church of the Holy Spirit. This church is built on the
body of Christ and moved by the Holy Spirit. It enters the world and
sanctifies it. In the process of saving the world an important thing
is forgiveness and reconciliation.
Here, I would like to share an interesting fairy tale with you, It
is called “The Giant's Garden.”
There once was a giant who had a very beautiful garden. One day while
he was away from home, the children came in and played in his garden.
When the Giant returned he was very angry and shouted, “This is my garden!
Get out!” Afterwards he fenced in the garden and would not let the children
When winter came, everywhere was covered with snow. Not long after
spring came. and everywhere blossomed except in the Giant's garden.
There it was still severe winter. This was because spring never comes
to a place where there are no children.
The Giant thought this was very strange. He could not understand why
spring never came. Year after year in the Giant's garden it was still
winter. He felt very depressed.
One day he accidentally looked out from his house and saw that all
the trees in the whole garden had blossomed except for one in the far
corner. That tree was still covered with snow, there were no flowers
on its branches. The reason was that the children had sneaked into the
garden and climbed up the trees. The trees blossomed when there were
children. However, the child at the far corner was too short to climb
up the tree and so that tree did not have any flowers.
Then the Giant understood, his garden was always winter because there
were no children. Quietly the giant entered the garden. When the children
saw him they ran away and after they had left, the trees turned back
to winter again.
The Giant went to the child at the far corner. The child was crying
and did not see the Giant coming. The Giant quietly held the child up
and put him onto the tree. The flowers on the tree opened immediately.
The child gave the Giant a kiss and the Giant lovingly held the child
tightly. When the other children saw that the Giant had become gentle
and kind so suddenly they were no longer afraid of him. They went into
the garden again. So once again the entire garden was filled with the
life and vigor of spring.
The Giant said, “Good, from now on the garden belongs to all of us.
You can come and play whenever you like!” That day the Giant took away
the fences. However, the next day when the children came to play the
Giant could not see his favorite child.
Many years passed and the Giant grew old. He was not afraid of winter
anymore because he knew that spring would always come after the winter.
One day, when the Giant was resting in the garden he suddenly saw his
favorite child come into the garden. He hurriedly ran over to him. He
saw that there were nail scars on the child's palms and feet. The Giant
was very angry and said to the child, “Who hurt you? I will find them
and take revenge.” The child replied, “There is no need, these are the
scar of love.”
The Giant asked, “Who are you?” He suddenly had a strange feeling.
He could not help but kneel down before the child. The child smiled
at the Giant and said, “Many years ago you let me come into your garden.
Today, I will bring you to my garden.”
That afternoon when the children went into the garden, they saw the
Giant lying under a tree. He was dead, and his body was covered with
Forgiveness is the teaching of Christ and is also the fruit of the
When one's own rights decides everything and justice alone rules all,
when one's own hurt has become prestige, the world cannot understand
the meaning of forgiveness and the acceptance of love.
However Christ tells us and the Holy Spirit inspires us that we can
choose another way, a way that transcends rights, justice and hurt,
then we can forgive, accept love and love in return.
Only forgiveness and love can change this world completely, and heal
the wounds of our lives entirely.