The Holy Spirit is the life breath of the Church. The Spirit is also the voice of God's mercy. We see this connection most clearly in John's Gospel story of the resurrection appearance of Jesus. Our Lord breathes on the apostles and says: "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” The presence of the Holy Spirit is the presence of God's merciful love. The gift of the Spirit propels the apostles out to spread the good news of God's mercy to every land in every tongue. So let us, filled with the Spirit, do as they did and bring the Spirit of mercy to all whom we meet this day.