TWO-PRESENCE OF THE
Resurrection, Christ is said to have breathed on his apostles and said:
"Receive the Holy Spirit…" Then much later on He would send them
the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.
St. Thomas describes
these as the two acts of the Holy Spirit. In the first breathing, the
disciples received the power to love their neighbors and on Pentecost they
received the power to love God.
The first act is from
the earth; the second is from heaven. No one can love God unless God gives
him the power from above.
When Christ breathed
on His disciples, He gave the power to love neighbor. We must love our neighbor
to love God. Love of neighbor must be motivated by love of God but this
does not mean that we already love God. It takes much love of neighbor
before we can love God.
We must obey the
commands of Christ on love of neighbor before the power to love God by the
abiding of the Holy Spirit, as on Pentecost, can be given to us. Thus,
Christ first breathed on them to receive the power to obey all His commands
on love of neighbor; then He would give them the power to love God on
Pentecost by the abiding of the Holy Spirit..