The Birth of The Church

Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 05 June 2022
Solemnity of the Pentecost

Acts 2:1-11; Ps. 104:1ab,24ac,29c-30,31,34; Rom. 8:8-17; John 14:15-16,23b-26

Pentecost is the birth of the Church. The Church celebrates her birth when the Holy Spirit descended upon the first God’s church. They are the 11 of “the Twelve”, together with some women and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and His brothers (Acts 1:13-14). They are the “Jesus’ believers” (Acts 2:1). That is the first characteristic of the Church: a group of people who believe in Jesus. They were men and women, from many backgrounds and communities. The unity of faith is the most important trait, even though the Church of Christ consists of diverse and various churches and groups.

The birth of the Church is also related to the “Genesis”. We are brought back to the beginning of the Bible: to the Genesis of the universe. In the beginning, God created all things by His words. The Gospel of John begins with the incarnated Word: Logos became human (John 1:1). A new creation was made. That is the second characteristic of the Church: the church that is created through love and the words of the Lord. Today’s Gospel emphasizes this point: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:13). Love and commandment, love and word are two main aspects that relate the Church with Jesus Christ, as well as the trade-mark of His people. The Church can only live from the Lord’s love and words. The Church can survive if it keeps on loving Him and that love must be manifested in the life guided by His words and commandments.

In addition to His presence through His words, Jesus also promised the assistance of the Holy Spirit, who is called the “Advocate” (v. 16). Paraclete in Greek means: Advocate, Counselor, Helper. Here the role of the Holy Spirit is more as a counselor and defender of the Church. John frequently emphasized the role of the Holy Spirit as the Church’s advocate (advisor, companion, and defender). The Holy Spirit carries on the role of Jesus in the church after His resurrection (thus she is called another Advocate). That is the third characteristic of the Church: the church that accompanied defended and counseled by the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit acts as the “prosecutor” upon the “world”: She exposes and prosecutes the guilt and unbelief of the world before God, the Supreme Judge!

The Holy Spirit also carries on the role of Jesus in the church (v. 26). She enables the Church to remember and live the teaching of Jesus in the changing and unfriendly world. That is the fourth characteristic of the Church: the Church that is constantly taught and reminded by the Holy Spirit, to send out the Lord’s messages in any real situation and condition.

John Gospel also emphasized the role of the Holy Spirit who presents the Father and Son’s love in the Church. Jesus emphasized that the Holy Spirit was “sent by the Father in My name” (v. 26) to the Church that kept His word in obedience. As the consequence: the Father and the Son will come and dwell in the Church (v. 23b). That is the fifth characteristic of the Church: the Church that dwelled and shaded by the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit who always teaches and renews it through God’s words and love.

(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society


Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of Indonesian Church of this month:

For Universal Churches: For the love of Christian families

We pray for Christian families throughout the world. May they have and experience unconditional love and prioritize the holiness in their daily lives.

For Indonesian Churches intention: For the critical education

May the education institution and family educate the children to be critical and realistic to any false offers and luxuries from social media.


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