Pentecost Sunday (Year B)

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 Other Sources

Pentecost Sunday – Mass During the Day – Cycle B

 Homily # 1

Pentecost B 1Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13; John 14:15-16,23b-26

Today we celebrate the feast of Pentecost. The word Pentecost means the number 50. This feast commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit upon our Blessed Lady and the apostles 50 days after the Resurrection of Jesus. Pentecost is the conclusion of the Easter season and the birthday of God’s holy church. Jesus said in today’s gospel, He, the Holy Spirit, “will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” The Holy Spirit guided the infant Church 2000 years ago. He does the same today, even though Pentecost happened two thousand years ago! The Holy Spirit is God and He is eternal. He will take the truth Jesus taught and reveal it to us.

We should be aware that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth and will never disagree with what Jesus taught. The Holy Spirit keeps the Church in the truth throughout the ages. In today’s Gospel, Jesus told us, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with always.” That Advocate is the Holy Spirit. In speaking of the Holy Spirit, Jesus says, (John 16: 13-15) “When he comes, the spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own but he will speak what he hears. He will glorify me because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that He will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” Jesus who is the truth, is with us through the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

Here is something astonishing: although Pentecost happened 2000 years ago, when we were baptized, the Holy Spirit came to us and made us his temple. (pause) St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3: 16 “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.”

After Jesus ascended into heaven he still lives on in his apostles through the power of the Holy Spirit. The apostles did great work in spreading the holy Catholic faith over great distances. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles worked great miracles and the infant Church grew quickly.

The first time the Holy Spirit overshadowed our Blessed Lady, she conceived and brought forth the God man, Jesus. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary again and she became the mother of the Church. Now she is bringing forth the life of Jesus in each of us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is living in us today through the power of the Holy spirit.

Jesus told us that, “I am with you always until the end of the world.” Jesus who is the truth, is with us through the power of the Holy Spirit and He cannot disagree with himself.”

Years ago, when I was a downtown at the diocese, I asked the director of deacons with happened to a certain deacon. He told me that sadly, that deacon started his own church. He added, the spirit that deacon was listening to was not the Holy Spirit. My dear friends, the Holy Spirit reveals only the truth of God because He is God!

Now it is our sacred task to carry on the work of the Holy Spirit in God’s holy Church. The second reading said, “to each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord.” It is our task to carry on the work of the Holy Spirit in today’s world. The Holy Spirit is encouraging us to do good works for the glory of God and for the life of the Church.

This means that our God given talents are to be used for the building up of the body of Christ, the Church. God does not give us gifts just for ourselves. Each person is given a different set of gifts to develop as we grow up. We must discover what our abilities are and use them for the glory of God and for our own happiness. “To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.”

To learn what our talents are we must ask ourselves, “What is it that we do well?” Is it rearing children, working with people, the elderly, the poor or with the homeless? Are we good at teaching or do we like to work with our hands? Each of us can do something worth while for the building up of God’s holy Church on earth. Today we humbly beg the Holy Spirit to help us fulfill the tasks that God gives each of us to accomplish.

In this holy mass let us earnestly pray to Jesus to send the Holy Spirit to animate us to do great things for God’s holy Church and for the world. Let us repeat the Church’s prayer, “Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love.”


Homily # 2

1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13; John 15:26-27, 16:12-15

Today we celebrate the feast of Pentecost. Pentecost is not a name but rather it is a number. It means 50. It is the conclusion of 50 days of the Easter season. This great feast ends the earthly mission of Jesus and starts the mission of the life of His Church, animated by the Holy spirit. As it said in today’s gospel, He the Holy Spirit, will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that He will take from what is mind and declare it to you.”

Pentecost celebrates that great event, when the Holy Spirit made known to all peoples the one true God and created from the many languages one united voice to profess the true faith in God. Pentecost shows us that, as the mission of Jesus was universal, so the membership of God’s holy Church is universal. Christ is much more than “my personal Savior” because His mission transcends a merely individual relationship. His mission is to all peoples of the earth!

By way of analogy, the Church is called the body of Christ. Jesus is the head of that body and we are the members of that body. The Church, the mystical body of Christ, is animated by the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ continues to live in His Church on earth and is faithful to his promise, “Know that I am with you always until the end of the world.”

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus lived in his apostles and did great work in spreading the holy Catholic faith around the world. The apostles instructed the people, they worked great miracles and they grew the infant Church.

Today it is our task to carry on the work of the Holy Spirit in God’s holy church. Jesus is living in us through the power of the Holy spirit. We received the gift of the Holy Spirit in baptism and in confirmation. The Holy Spirit is encouraging us to do good works for the life of the Church. It said in today’s second reading “to each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord.”

This means that our God given talents are to be used for the building up of the body of Christ, the Church. God does not give us gifts just for ourselves. To each person a different gift is given. We must discover what our abilities are and use them for the glory of God and for our own happiness.

What is it that we do well? Is it working with people, the elderly, the poor or the homeless? Do like to teach or do you like to work with your hands? Each of us can do something worth while for the building up of God’s holy Church on earth. Today we humbly beg the Holy Spirit to help us fulfill the tasks that God gives each of us to accomplish.

If we use the gifts that God the Holy Spirit gives us, we will develop the fruits of the Holy spirit. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. As we cooperate with God and develop the gifts he gave us, these fruits will mature. The reason they are called fruits is that these different gifts are developed slowly, just as fruit takes time to come to full ripeness on a plant. When a fruit first comes forth on a plant, it is green, hard and bitter. Eventually when the fruit develops to the fullness of its maturity it becomes sweet and soft. So it is with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The more we use them the easier and the sweeter it becomes to exercise them.

Today in this holy mass let us earnestly pray that the Holy Spirit would animate us to do great things for God’s holy Church and for the world. Let us say repeatedly the Church’s prayer, “Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they will be created and you will renew the face of the earth.” In this mass let us beg Jesus to renew in us the gift of the Holy Spirit so that we will glorify God by the way we live our lives.


Homily # 3

As we read the books of the Old Testament, we can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in all of the works of God since the beginnings of human existence.  When the world was created, it was the Spirit that was sent out over the waters thus blessing them.  The Spirit gave life and peace to all who dwelt on the earth.  Since then the presence the Spirit has guided and blessed all of the good works that humanity has done.  Nonetheless, before Jesus ascended to the Father, he promised his disciples that he would send them the Holy Spirit in a more visible manner.  As a result of this promise, the Church celebrates Pentecost Sunday as the feast of the public revelation of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity.  Today we also celebrate the day on which the Church community was born.  The readings of this great feast that we celebrate today show us how the Holy Spirit was sent by God the Father to bless the community of the new and ever lasting covenant that was announced by Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

The feast of Pentecost celebrates the inauguration of the Church in the world.  And it celebrates the day that the Holy Spirit was publicly given the task of safeguarding humanity.  Saint Irenaeus tells us that the same divine grace that was received by the disciples in the form of tongues of fire was later received by humanity as water that falls from the sky.  And he adds, “just as the parched earth can not produce a harvest, we, who were before like a waterless tree, would never have been able to bear the fruit of life, without this freely given rain from on high.”

The grace of the Holy Spirit clearly enlightened the disciples to the mystery of the salvation of humanity by the Son of God.  It clarified for them the mystery of the Church, the body of Christ, which Our Lord wished to leave as visible proof of his presence in the world.  Both the Gospel of the Evening Mass and the Gospel of the Mass of the Day describe the last encounters that Jesus had with his disciples.  It was precisely then, before he visibly left the earth, that Jesus spoke with them.  He knew that the small community of his followers would soon enter into a new stage of its existence.  After the Ascension of the Lord, the newly founded Church would find itself in a precarious situation.  Only if unity were maintained would the disciples be able to reach the fullness of truth of a life in Christ.  For this reason, Jesus tells them that he will not abandon them.  And he promises to send the Paraclete, the Defender, the Consoler, to guide them as they journey on the road to a new life with him and with the Father.

In our Second Reading, Saint Paul reminds us that the Spirit that the disciples received on that first Pentecost Sunday is the same Spirit that all of us receive today.  The grace of the Spirit is given to all of the members of the Church but each member receives it in a different way.  Therefore, we could say that the Holy Spirit exists, at one and the same time, in the Church in general and in each member of the church in particular.  Because of the different charisms or gifts that individual persons receive for the good of all, the body of Christ develops in harmony.  An African preacher, speaking about Pentecost Sunday in the sixth century said, “Just as then one man, having received the Holy Spirit, could speak in all tongues, now it is the one Church, united by the Holy Spirit, that speaks to all in all languages.”  The presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church is shown in the unity in mind and heart of the community

My sisters and brothers, let us pray to the Holy Spirit that we may receive the gift of unity and be filled with wisdom and courage so that, following the example of Saint Peter and the other apostles, we may show to the world our faith in Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.  Come, Holy Spirit, come!

Homily # 4

Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles

Today, Sunday June 4, 2006, is the Solemnity (or feast) of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles.  It is called Pentecost because it comes about 50 days after Easter. From Greek and Latin, the sound “pentecoste” means “50th day.”

It is Christian doctrine that 50 days after the Resurrection of  the Lord Jesus Christ and ten days after His Ascension to Heaven, the disciples of Jesus, together with the Blessed Virgin Mary, His mother, and some of the pious women and other believers, 120 persons in all, gathered in Jerusalem. They were probably in the same room where the Lord, not long before His arrest, torture, crucifixion and death, performed the Last Supper.

On Pentecost, the Apostles were awaiting the fulfillment of the Savior’s will to send them “the Father’s Promise” to strengthen them with divine power, although they did not understand yet exactly what that meant.

The Acts of the Apostles (2:1-5) says:  “And when the days of  Pentecost were drawing to a close, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a violent wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as of fire, which settled upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in foreign tongues, even as the Holy Spirit prompted them to speak.”

St. Josemaria Escriva, teaching about the Descent of the Holy Spirit, tells us, in the meditations he wrote about the mysteries of the Rosary:

“Our Lord had said: I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Paraclete, another Consoler, to abide with you forever (John 14:16). When the disciples were gathered together in one place, suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were.—At the same time, parted tongues of fire appeared and rested upon each one of them (Acts 2:1-2).

Filled with the Holy Ghost, the Apostles seemed as though drunk (Acts 2:13).

And Peter, around whom the other eleven gathered, raised his voice and spoke.—We, people from a hundred nations, hear Him.—Each of us hears him in his own language.—You and I in ours.—He speaks to us of Christ Jesus and of the Holy Ghost and of the Father.

He is not stoned nor thrown in prison: of those who have heard him, three thousand are converted and baptized.

You and I, after helping the Apostles administer baptism, bless God the Father, for His Son Jesus, and we too feel drunk with the Holy Ghost.”

Homily # 5

The Descent of the Holy Spirit

On Sunday, June 8 the Church celebrates the holy feast of Pentecost. Ask with me for a new Pentecost, which will once again set the world alight. (Furrow, 213)

June 03, 2003

From the Acts of the Apostles:

AND WHEN THE DAYS OF PENTECOST were drawing to a close, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a violent wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as of fire, which settled upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in foreign tongues, even as the Holy Spirit prompted them to speak. (Acts 2:1-5)

 

Texts of St. Josemaría:

Our Lord had said: I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Paraclete, another Consoler, to abide with you forever (John 14:16). When the disciples were gathered together in one place, suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were. —At the same time, parted tongues of fire appeared and rested upon each one of them (Acts 2:1-2).

Filled with the Holy Ghost, the Apostles seemed as though drunk (Acts 2:13).

And Peter, around whom the other eleven gathered, raised his voice and spoke. —We, people from a hundred nations, hear Him. —Each of us hears him in his own language. —You and I in ours. —He speaks to us of Christ Jesus and of the Holy Ghost and of the Father.

He is not stoned nor thrown in prison: of those who have heard him, three thousand are converted and baptized.

You and I, after helping the Apostles administer baptism, bless God the Father, for His Son Jesus, and we too feel drunk with the Holy Ghost. (Holy Rosary, Descent of the Holy Spirit)

Christian tradition has summarised the attitude we should adopt toward the Holy Spirit in just one idea: docility. That means we should be aware of the work of the Holy Spirit all around us, and in our own selves we should recognize the gifts he distributes, the movements and institutions he inspires, the affections and decisions he provokes in our hearts. The Holy Spirit carries out in the world the works of God. He is, as we read in a liturgical hymn, the giver of grace, the light of our hearts, the soul’s guest, our rest in work, our consolation in sorrow. Without his help there is nothing innocent or valuable in man, since he is the one who cleanses the soiled, heals what is sick, sets on fire what is cold, straightens what is bent and guides men toward the safe harbour of salvation and eternal joy. (Christ is Passing By, 130)

It is worthwhile putting our lives on the line, giving ourselves completely, so as to answer to the love and the confidence that God has placed in us. It is worth while, above all, to decide to take our christian life seriously. When we recite the creed, we state that we believe in God the Father Almighty, in his Son Jesus Christ, who died and rose again, and in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life. We affirm that the Church, one, holy, catholic and apostolic, is the body of Christ, enlivened by the Holy Spirit. We rejoice in the forgiveness of sins and in the hope of the resurrection. But do those words penetrate to the depths of our own heart? Or do they remain only on our lips? The divine message of victory, the joy and the peace of Pentecost, should be the unshakeable foundation for every Christian’s way of thinking and acting and living. (Christ is Passing By, 129)

The marvel of Pentecost consecrates all the different ways: it can never be understood as monopoly or the appreciation of only one way to the detriment of the others.

Pentecost provides an unlimited variety of tongues, of methods, of forms of meeting God: not violent uniformity. (Furrow, 226)

It is the Holy Spirit who, with his inspirations, gives a supernatural tone to our thoughts, desires and actions. It is he who leads us to receive Christ’s teaching and to assimilate it in a profound way. It is he who gives us the light by which we perceive our personal calling and the strength to carry out all that God expects of us. If we are docile to the Holy Spirit, the image of Christ will be formed more and more fully in us, and we will be brought closer every day to God the Father. “For whoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God.”

If we let ourselves be guided by this life-giving principle, who is the Holy Spirit in us, our spiritual vitality will grow. We will place ourselves in the hands of our Father God, with the same spontaneity and confidence with which a child abandons himself to his father’s care. Our Lord has said: “Unless you become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” This is the old and well known “way of childhood,” which is not sentimentality or lack of human maturity. It is a supernatural maturity, which makes us realize more deeply the wonders of God’s love, while leading us to acknowledge our own smallness and identify our will fully with God’s will. (Christ is Passing By, 135)

Homily # 6

Blair meets Benedict XVI on extremism

LONDON (AFP) — British Prime Minister Tony Blair will meet Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican Saturday and will tell him of the need for moderate religious leaders to work together against extremism and terrorism.

Blair has been granted an audience with the German-born pontiff as the British prime minister continues his official visit to Rome after a week-long family holiday in a Tuscan villa. He met his Italian counterpart Romano Prodi on Friday.

A spokesman for Blair’s office in London said the prime minister and the Pope had ‘’lots to discuss’’ at the meeting, their first since Pope Benedict succeeded John Paul II in April last year.

Blair’s wife, Cherie, a practising Catholic, had a private audience with the Pope on April 28 as she attended a conference at the Vatican on the problems faced by teenagers.

‘’The Vatican is an influential player on the world stage and, through all the Catholic communities around the world, has a significant influence on international opinion,’’ the prime minister’s spokesman said.

‘’The prime minister will be interested in the Pope’s views on key foreign policy issues.

‘’In particular he will want to discuss with the Pope inter-faith relations and how best inter-faith dialogue can help with conflict resolution and how the moderate voices of the world’s main religions need to work together to tackle and confront extremism and terrorism.

‘’He also wants to stress the importance of the international community — including governments, international institutions, religions and other parts of civil society — working together to deal with the big global challenges such as the threat to security but also issues like trade, poverty and climate change.’’

The Vatican was ‘’an important partner on these issues,” he added, highlighting the close contact between the city state and Britain during last year’s Group of Eight richest nations talks on Africa.

In January, the Pope condemned terrorism as a ‘’moral perversion’’ and demanded religious freedom around the world.

Blair’s last papal audience was with John Paul II in February 2003, when the then pope urged him to find a solution to the ‘’grave situation’’ in Iraq and make ‘’every effort to avoid new divisions in the world.”

The US-led invasion, which Britain joined, began the following month.

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