Pentecost Sunday

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Photo by Tamara Menzi on Unsplash

There is a lot going on in my life right now. This week has been insane with work, attorneys, and doctors. Yet, I keep going back to last Sunday. The Pentecost.

I love Pentecost; it is where Jesus gifts us with the Holy Spirit. God is no longer separated from us by sin. Jesus took care of that by taking our punishment. This particular Pentecost Sunday. I was blessed with understanding. Knowledge that will help me on the difficult path I walk at the moment.

This year’s Pentecost was super special. I actually started three blog posts on Sunday. This is #2. The Holy Spirit’s presence was strong. I had to break the ideas down into topics. Walking in the fog of dementia with my dad has me leaning on God the Father for guidance, Jesus for hope, and the Holy Spirit for comfort.

Saturday night I spent with my dad in the emergency room. When he wanted something; I would try to supply what he needed. The nurse, water, his pillow, etc. When I would help him, he got mad or would ignore me. I had the feeling he resented me helping him. The hurt ran deep. Back to my childhood. Back to when I wanted his attention and was ignored, or worse pushed away because I was in his way.

I woke Sunday morning with a pounding head. The hours in the ER had taken their toll. I also still felt my dad’s resentment. It stung. Nursing my aching head, I could I not make it to my usual church service. I pulled up EWTN and the Catholic Sunday Mass. I relaxed into the cadence of the service. In the homily the Priest discussed the gifts and fruits of the spirit. My mind wandered to the Gospel reading: John 20:19-23. I looked it up in my Laudate app and read it again.

I could not get the words out of my head. I still can’t. It opened my mind in new ways. Which is why I love God’s Word. It gives us what we need when we least expect it. Whether we want it or not. {smile}

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

The Gospel describes Jesus appearing in the midst of the disciples after His Resurrection. In verses 21-23 the scripture reads:

“[Jesus] said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.” And when he said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.””

This got me thinking about my dad. Remember I’m no theologian. I read this scripture with my straight up common sense, no reading between the lines. I found, that if I cannot forgive my father, his sins are retained. Also in this process I retain the sins of my father, mainly his judgmental attitude. I am judging him as he is judging me. We push back at each other in righteous indignation. We each think we have God’s ear. Which, by the way, we do! Think about it – You always have God’s ear {wink}.

I also thought about how Jesus broke the cycle of sin for us. Sin separates us from God. If I may be so bold, He forgave us and our sins are not retained. If we ask for forgiveness, because of His Son’s forgiveness of our sins, God does not ‘retain’ our sins against us. He accepts us as His own. I don’t know if this is theologically correct. It is just how I understand the scripture for me today.

If I believe what the scripture says, I must humble myself before God. I must step away from judgement of my father. In my heart I don’t want his sins retained against him. His mind is going. I don’t even know if he can ask for forgiveness. I forgive him for Saturday night and for all the other times he refused to love me. I pray God can break this cycle of judgement in my family.

I must accept I am not the judge. Only God is the Judge. I know I will have to continue humbling myself and forgiving my father in this life. It is a temptation the evil one himself dangles in front of me constantly. My father will probably not stop judging me unworthy in this life. I pray for guidance to accept these facts and forgive him every day. “Our Father who art in heaven…Forgive [my] trespasses as I forgive [dad’s] trespasses against me…” [Paraphrased just for me]

The end of my father’s life may be as hard for us as our relationship always has been. Right now when I am in the room, he usually is resentful, defiant, depressed, and irritable. I must accept that these may be the last memories I have of my father. I am jealous of the others who describe him as a “sweet helpful man.” Apparently I am the only one left to take his bitterness.

I will continue to pray; “I forgive you dad, Father forgive me.” Until dad is home with God the Father.

Please understand there is joy here because, God’s Peace is getting me through this part of the journey, moment by moment.

Peace be with you

Milly

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