Acts 2:1-11; 1Cor 12:3-7,12-13/Gal 5:16-25; Jn 20:19-23 (15:26-27,16;12-15)
Jesus Breathes the Holy Spirit
OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Fr. Jerry M. Orbos SVD
By: Fr. Jerry M. Orbos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
10:58 pm | Saturday, May 26th, 2012
The story is told about a grandfather who frantically told his grandson: “You better hide! The maid told me that your teacher is here looking for you because you are not in class.” The grandson replied: “Grandpa, you better hide because I told her yesterday that I will be absent today because you died!”
In today’s Gospel (Jn. 20, 19-23), the disciples were hiding behind closed doors because of fear and insecurity. They were afraid, lost, and had many uncertainties. And then, the Lord appeared to them and assured them with His presence and message of peace. The absence or presence of the Lord in people’s lives does make a difference and does matter!
Today is Pentecost Sunday. At Pentecost, the Lord not only assured His disciples with His presence but empowered them as well with His gift of the Holy Spirit. “I am with you always!” Yes, He is with us still, and He continues to be in our hearts. Alone and unaided, we are weak. With the Holy Spirit, we are strong, and we are aided in our mission and apostolate.
“As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” We have received a mandate and a mission to make all things new and help renew the face of the earth by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are not just cynical, disinterested bystanders but disciples called and empowered by the Lord.
On a trip to Madrid recently, I met Fr. Jun Castro, SVD, and Fr. Ronnie Crisostomo, SVD, and joined them in their Sunday Mass with our overseas Filipino workers. Sent by the Lord and empowered by the Holy Spirit, these two Filipino SVD missionaries continue the work of shepherding the flock in a foreign land, and proclaiming the Gospel to a nation that brought Christianity to our shores in 1521. Yes, Pentecost goes on, and should go on whoever we are, wherever we go, whatever we do. Not only our missionaries but also our OFWs are a big factor in spreading our mission to the whole world.
The youngest member of our pilgrimage group to Fatima and Lourdes is 11-year-old Meggy Pe. We adults have learned a lot from her simplicity and humility. In one of our Masses, I asked everyone their special requests and intentions, and there were a lot mentioned. When Meggy’s turn came, she said: “I have nothing to ask for myself. I just pray for my family to be healthy, so they can take care of me.” There we were, with all our cares and concerns, and here was a child that reminded us to be trusting and not to worry. Pentecost becomes a reality when we trust more in God’s grace rather than in our own efforts and abilities.
In Fatima, as we walked to the Little Chapel of the Apparitions, I saw Meggy holding flowers she had bought from a flower shop. We got curious, and Meggy told us she was going to give it to Mama Mary! Not one of us in our group of 45 thought of that. Again, there we were, with all sorts of agenda, from the sacred to the profane, and a little child reminded us of purity of heart, clarity of purpose, and the simplicity of love. Let us not block a new Pentecost in our days with our grownup pride and self-sufficiency, all in the name of efficiency.
From a distance, our group continues to pray for peace and stability in our country, especially with our fragile relations with China. It was here in Fatima where the Blessed Mother promised to “banish war and fears.” Let us continue to pray, and work for peace!
Also, we earnestly pray for, and follow with much concern, the developments of the impeachment case against Chief Justice Renato Corona. In so far as we hide the truth, promote lies and injustice, we block Pentecost. In so far as we work for justice, peace, and integrity of government and creation, we are agents of Pentecost.
Speaking of empowerment at Pentecost, our government leaders should remember that their empowerment comes from the people. The way I see it, they only remember this reality of people power when election time comes. Once they are already in power, they not only lord over but abuse the very people who gave them the power. Power is from the people and for the people! Let us pray and work for a new Pentecost in our land where power will reside in and stay with the people, and not with some few selfish politicians, clans, and companies.
Let St. Teresa of Avila remind us to aspire for that peace which the world cannot give or take away, with her prayer: “Let nothing disturb you; let nothing frighten you; all things pass away, God never changes; patience obtains all things; he who has God finds he lacks nothing; God alone suffices.”
Worth sharing is this beautiful prayer to the Holy Spirit: “Come, Holy Spirit, replace the tension within me with a holy relaxation. Replace the turbulence within me with a sacred calm. Replace the anxiety within me with a quiet confidence. Replace the fear within me with a strong faith. Replace the bitterness within me with the sweetness of grace. Replace the darkness within me with a gentle light. Replace the coldness within me with a loving warmth. Fill my emptiness. Dull the edge of my pride. Sharpen the edge of my humility. Let me see myself as You see me, that I may see You as You have promised. Amen.”
A moment with the Lord:
Lord, give us that peace which the world cannot give or take away. Amen.
Journeying in the Spirit
By: Fr. Jerry M. Orbos SVD – @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:04 AM May 20, 2018
Some years ago I trained Bruno, my golden retriever, to take up the collection during our mission Sunday Mass, to emphasize that all of us are sent to do our mission in this world. Everything was going well, and the whole congregation was clapping as Bruno went around the church with the handle of the collection basket in his mouth. But halfway through, for whatever reason, he headed toward the church door with the collection basket and left, never to come back. That was the end of his career as a Mass collector.
Today is Pentecost Sunday. In today’s Gospel (John 20: 19-23), Jesus tells His disciples: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” At the Incarnation, the Father sent His only begotten Son to the world for our salvation. At Pentecost, the Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit upon us to renew the face of the earth.
My dog Bruno was not able to accomplish his mission. Why? Maybe he got scared, or he could not handle his fame and popularity. Or maybe he had his own agenda. Such is the fate of those who are sent but do not have the Holy Spirit in them. Such is the fate of those who rely on their own powers and resources, and forget to rely on the Master who called and empowered them.
“Come, Holy Spirit, I need you.” Let this be our constant prayer in every decision we make, in every word we say, in every work we undertake. Without the Holy Spirit, we become blinded by the lures of this world and, worse, we become deaf to God’s guidance and directions.
People in public service need the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, they end up doing self-service; worse, they become, not public servants, but dictators and plunderers.
Sharing with you my prayer for enlightenment: When I start focusing on what is dark and negative, come, Holy Spirit and enlighten me; when I am burdened and weighed down by problems and hurts, come, Holy Spirit and enlighten me; when I become blinded by the glitter of money, worldly power and pleasures, come, Holy Spirit, and enlighten me.
“Mandasal ka labat, anako” (Just pray, my child). This was a constant reminder from Mama since we were young, and all throughout her life. She knew, and she lived, the power of prayer. I thank Mama and Papa who taught us by word and by their very examples that we should just continue to pray, pray more, and pray on.
My checkup at the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital last April 27 showed that I had a 1.7-centimeter nodule on the apex of my left lung. After my initial shock and fear, and after praying much, I told my doctor that we should just let things be for now because I am scheduled to lead a pilgrimage on May 20-June 2 to the shrines of Fatima, Lourdes, and Padre Pio where, I said, I will ask for a miracle. My doctor, a man of science and a man of faith, agreed.
“You must know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit … So glorify God in your body” (Cor. 6: 19-20). Initially, I wanted to do this journey of prayer for a miracle privately, but I am going public, not for publicity, or for sympathy, but for God’s glory! Whatever be the outcome, yes, let it be for God’s glory. So, dear reader, please pray with me, and pray for me. Thank you.
Think about this: “When we encounter crossroads, we think that it’s already the end; but to God, it is just a bend. The journey goes on. Pause and rest if we must, and get our bearings again; let go, let God, the mission continues. Yes, the journey goes on.”
Bantay Matanda invites you to a lay forum on osteoporosis at Tuklong ni San Jose at Christ the King Seminary, E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City, on May 26, 9 a.m. to 12 noon. For inquiries, please call 373-2262; 998-2548 or 0917-4167849.
A moment with the Lord:
Lord, send forth Your Holy Spirit, to be with us in our journey. Come, Holy Spirit, we need you! Amen.
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