PENTECOST A HOMILY
OBJECTIVE: THAT WE MAY ASK FOR MORE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Pentecost literally means 50th. It is a feast celebrated on the 50th day after the Passover feast by the Jews and a feast celebrated on the 50th day after the feast of the Resurrection of Jesus by Christians.
On the day of Pentecost: 1) The Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary as fiery tongues. 2) The frightened apostles were transformed into fiery preachers and evangelizers and were given the gift of tongues by a special anointing of the Holy Spirit. 3) The listeners experienced a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit through the apostles’ gift of tongues: they heard Peter speaking in their native languages. 4) The early Christians became powerful witnesses and brave martyrs for their Faith in Jesus.
This means that Jesus fulfilled the promise: “The Father will give you another Advocate (a powerful/influential helper) to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, … to remain with you, and will be in you.” (Jn 14:16-17).
The Holy Spirit comes because He has a huge role in Christian life: 1) As an indwelling God, the Holy Spirit makes us His Living Temples (I Cor 3:16). 2) As a strengthening God, He strengthens us in our fight against temptations and in our mission of bearing witness to Christ by transparent Christian lives.
3) As a sanctifying God, He makes us holy through the Sacraments: a) He makes us children of God and heirs of heaven through Baptism. b) He makes us warriors and defenders of the Faith, through Confirmation.
c) He enables us to be reconciled to God by pardoning our sins through Reconciliation. d) He gives us spiritual nourishment via the Holy Eucharist by converting bread and wine into Jesus’ Body and Blood.
4) As a teaching and guiding God, He clarifies and constantly reminds us of Christ’s teachings. 5) As a listening and talking God, He listens to our prayers and enables us to pray, and He speaks to us mainly through the Bible. 6) As a provider, He enriches us with His gifts, fruits and charisms.
The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the H Trinity, proceeding from the Father and the Son, hence co-substantial with the Father and the Son. He is a Co-creator, inspirer and animator. He comes unceasingly into the world and awakens faith, enabling communication with God. He is Master and Source of prayer and holiness. He reveals God and restores divine likeness.
As a pillar of fire, he guided the Israelites to the promised land. Judges and great prophets like Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and John the Baptist were successful, because they were inspired by the H. Spirit. He enabled Mary to conceive the Son of God (Lk 1:35).
He directed Jesus into the desert to fast for forty days and nights. (Lk 4:1). “The Spirit of God was upon him and anointed him to preach the Good News to the poor, to release captives of Satan, and proclaim peace and forgiveness…” (Lk 4:18 & 19).
The H. Spirit encouraged and reinvigorated the Apostles to preach boldly. (Acts 2). On the day of Pentecost these mere fishermen convinced and converted 3.000 people, because they were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:41).
The Holy Spirit continues to direct and support the Church. Many of us here were baptized and confirmed in the Holy Spirit. He gave us the gifts of knowledge, counsel, reverence of God, piety/religiosity, fortitude/courage, understanding and Wisdom. The Holy Spirit sanctifies and creates ministers in the Church. All in all the Holy Spirit enables sacraments to take place.
The effects of the Holy Spirit are holiness, love/charity, unity, peace, joy, patience, calmness, gentleness, zeal, enthusiasm, energy, modesty, generosity, faithfulness, mercy, cheerfulness, forgiveness, self-control, chastity, and prayerfulness (cf. Gal 5:22-23). If I do not have them, it means that I am not yet imbued with the Holy Spirit.
We need to be possessed by the H. Spirit. Let us pray everyday to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said: “How much more will the Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”(Lk 11:13).
May the Holy Spirit make us vigorous, very active, helpful, cheerful, prayerful, wise and courageous. May he increase wisdom in us as he did with Solomon, so that we may manage well our families and businesses. May we always seek his guidance before taking any major decision. May He inspire scientists to discover the cure for the Corona virus.
May the Holy Eucharist prepare us for the action of the Holy Spirit.