To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good (1 Cor 12, 7)
Jesus breathes his Spirit on his disciples so that they may live in communion with one another, with him and the Father.
Jesus knows what they need before they say or admit it. He goes through closed doors and knows the secrets of the heart.
No sooner has the Teacher stood in the midst of his disciples than he greets them, “Peace be with you”—as though, always courageous, they had never been shaken at the sight of his cruel passion. And he shows them his hands and his side—as if, always wise, they had never been reluctant to believe in a suffering Messiah. He does not harbor recriminatory feelings; he is there to fill them with joy, and not remorse that may crush them even more.
He wishes them peace again. Is he perhaps doing so this time that they may remember fondly a preparatory mission they had embarked on before and from which they returned rejoicing because even demons had submitted to them in Jesus’ name? What is certain, however, is that those in hiding are ordered to sally forth: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” This said, the one who has just forgiven his disciples’ unfaithfulness and cowardice now shares his Spirit with them and gives them the power to forgive sins and retain them, too, in case this means need be resorted to for the attainment of the end, namely, repentance and forgiveness.
It is because the definitive mission entrusted to us is one of reconciliation and mutual understanding. We have to get out of our securities and go to those scattered all over the world, to those on the outskirts especially, to share with them the one Spirit, so that this may continue bursting into flames that will rest on all humanity.
We humans are female and male, young and old, poor and rich, are of different peoples and nations, cultures and languages, yet together we can form one body. We need the Holy Spirit to equip us for this mission of unity in diversity, for the collaborative pursuit of the community of disciples of one mind and heart, who are such friends to one another that there is no needy person among them, of people who cherish one another, as sisters and brothers, and the poor, as their masters (Coste XIII, 540).
Selfishness builds towers of confusion, not communities, even mistaking the means for the end. We cannot do without Jesus’ Spirit of self-emptying commitment; it is indispensable that we go on recalling Jesus’ passion and fix our gaze on his hands, side and feet, on the wounded poor.