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 Fr. Bel San Luis SVD

2009 Word Alive

Do we heed His call?

By FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD

May 29, 2009, 7:29pm

Once an archbishop was discussing Christianity with a learned Japanese writer. The writer told the archbishop, “I think I understand God the Father and God the Son, but I can never understand the significance of the Honorable Bird.”

Many people will understand the problem of that Japanese for the Holy Spirit has eluded the imagination of scholars and preachers.

This Sunday is the feast of Pentecost. One difficulty in knowing the “mysterious” Holy Spirit is because He is represented in various symbols. The Holy Spirit is portrayed as a dove (honorable bird?) that hovered over Christ when He was baptized in the river Jordan.

Another symbol of the Holy Spirit is a “mighty wind” which was manifested in the first Pentecost at the Upper Room.

From its name, the Spirit “inspires” or “breathes life into” as in mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. One who is “inspired” receives life or becomes invigorated. Don’t we often say, “This person inspires me”?

I’m reminded of a classmate in college who was shy, never got excited, always keeping to himself; in local parlance, “walang kabuhay-buhay.”

When he took a one-year “regency,” a period of exposure outside the seminary, he met a lady teacher who, to make a long story short, “inspired” him. From then on his life changed dramatically.

There was sparkle in his eyes and a spring to his steps; where before he cared little about his appearance, now he became more conscious and meticulous. Unfortunately, however,

after regency, he decided not to continue for the priesthood and left. Maybe, he was overinspired!

The Spirit is the Church’s breath. The divine breath gave the young Christian Church astonishing powers.

The Spirit also gives conversion or spiritual renewal of life. When there is sorrow for sin, the Spirit comes to renew that person’s life or fill his heart with new life once again.

I had a friend in the Ilocos who worked in the bank whose accounting expertise we consulted in the management of our school finances.

As an expert accountant, he would talk of nothing except money — and how one could make more of it. He wasn’t really that irreligious. He would go to church and one would call him a “church pillar” because he stood

behind the pillars of the church!

We lost track of each other for several years. But recently we met and I expected him to rattle off his favorite topic — money. But surprisingly, he was now talking about “service for the Lord.”

“What happened?” I asked. “It’s a long story,” he said, “but after joining a Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS), I realized that I’d been missing a lot of important things in life. Where God was just on the side, now He is at

the center of my life.”

The dramatic transformation of that once tepid Catholic was the working of the Holy Spirit.

Did you ever feel turning a new life because of guilt feelings over some illegal deals or illicit relationship? Or were you inspired to do good to people, like being generous, because of a priest’s homily or an article you read?

The Holy Spirit keeps calling us. But the question is: Do you heed or reject His promptings? As the psalmist says: “If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”

2012 Word Alive

Unwelcome Concert

By FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD

May 26, 2012, 11:01pm

MANILA, Philippiness — “GAGA” in Pilipino language means dumb. True to her name, Lady Gaga’s concert is nothing else but that. For why did she insist on staging a concert that offended the religious sensibilities of her audience! What was really her mission? Was it to entertain or proselytize, like teaching that Judas was a hero and Jesus Christ, “the king without a crown,” was a villain?

We respect Lady Gaga’s “religious” belief but why does she have to mock Jesus Christ, using even obscene language, Jesus Who is highly revered by billions of followers all over the world?

From the marketing viewpoint, when you sell a show or a product, it should be acceptable and appealing to customers so they will see or buy it. Lady Gaga and organizers didn’t realize this simple marketing principle; hence, their concert tour in Asia was a catastrophic failure.

Lady Gaga and party were banned from staging their concert by religiously conservative countries like Malaysia and Indonesia. In the Philippines, no doubt, the concert was a financial flop, too. With the vehement protests and clamor to ban or boycott the show, people would rather stay away.

Is Lady Gaga doing all these blasphemous shows in order to create controversy, thus become popular internationally? But Lady Gaga, please not do it at the expense of ridiculing and disrespecting Jesus, the Son of God.

I only hope and pray that Lady Gaga’s shows will not cause divine retribution. As the Bible says, “It is terrible to fall into the hands of the living God.”

REMEMBER JOHN LENNON? He was a member of world- famous Beatles and once said at the peak of their popularity, “Christianity will go… It will vanish and shrink… I am right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now.”

Mark David Chapman, a security guard, was incensed by Lennon’s “bigger than Jesus” remark, calling it blasphemy. On December 8, 1980, Chapman shot him from behind and with powerful seven hollow-point bullets hitting him, it was impossible for him to survive.

“Christianity will vanish?” It was Lennon who vanished!

THE LIGHTER SIDE. There was a little old lady who would step out on her porch every day and prayed, “Lord, please send me some food.” An atheist next door belittled her saying, “You fool. There is no God.” Yet, the little old lady continued.

The next morning, she went outside, and there found a big bag of food. The atheist stepped out and said, “There is no God; I bought those groceries!” The old lady then lifted her arms and said, “Thank You, Lord. You sent me groceries, even if you have to do it through the Devil!”

YOU’RE INVITED… to a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City with side tour to the USA on Oct. 10-20, 2012. The Guadalupe shrine is where the Blessed Virgin appeared several times to a peasant Indian and imprinted her image on a cloak (tilma).

For inquiries, call Broadway Travel, Inc., at 465 United Nations Avenue, Manila (cf. tel. directory) or e-mail: mailbox@broadwaytravelph.com. I will serve as chaplain.

Source: mb.com.ph/articles/360535/unwelcome-concert

2015 The Spirit calls; do we respond?

by Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD
May 22, 2015

Somebody once said that our experience of the Holy Spirit is like wearing eyeglasses. When they are set comfortably on our nose, we aren’t aware of them. Their best work is done when, through them, we can see a movie we’re watching. Glasses are not to be seen, but to be seen through.

The Holy Spirit is like that. To complain that we can’t find Him is like complaining we can’t find our glasses when all the while we are wearing them.

This Sunday, feast of PENTECOST, commemorates that momentous event when the Holy Spirit descended on the timid apostles at the Upper Room.

One symbol which tells us something about the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit is a mighty wind and tongues of fire descending over the apostles’ head.

From its name, the Spirit “inspires” or “breathes life into” as in mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. One who is “inspired” receives life or becomes invigorated. Don’t we often say, “This person inspires me”?

I’m reminded of a seminarian in college who was shy, always keeping to himself; in local parlance, “walang kabuhay-buhay.”

When he took a one-year regency, a period of exposure outside the seminary, he met a lady-teacher who, to make a long story short, “inspired” him. From then on his life changed dramatically.

Unfortunately, however, after regency, he did not continue and left the seminary. Maybe, he was over-inspired!

The Spirit is the Church’s breath. The divine breath gave the young Christian Church astonishing powers.

The Spirit also moves us to conversion or spiritual renewal. When one experiences remorse for sin, the Spirit renews that person giving him new life.

I had a friend in the Ilocos who worked in the bank whose accounting expertise we consulted in our school finances.

He talked of nothing except money–and how one could make more of it. He wasn’t really that irreligious because he would go to church regularly, but stayed at the back. One would call him a “church pillar” because he stood behind the pillars of the church!

We lost track of each other for years. But recently we met. I expected him to rattle off his favorite topic–money. But surprisingly, he now talked about doing services for the Lord.

“What happened?” I asked. “It’s a long story,” he said, “but after joining a Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS), I realized that I’d been missing a lot of important things in life. Where God occupied just the sideline, now He is at the center of my life.”

The dramatic transformation of that once tepid Catholic was the working of the Holy Spirit.

Did you ever feel turning a new life because of guilt feelings over some illegal deals or illicit relationships? Or were you inspired to do good to people because of a priest’s homily or an article you read? Or like that accountant, did you ever attend a retreat or a Life in the Spirit Seminar and experienced a spiritual transformation?

Such are the promptings of the Holy Spirit. But the question is: Do you heed the Spirit’s promptings? The Spirit keeps calling us but we must heed His call if we want to be transformed.

Source: mb.com.ph/the-spirit-calls-do-we-respond/

2018 Mysterious Holy Spirit

May 20, 2018 | Word Alive | Posted by: Tempo Online

 

By Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Today is Pentecost Sunday, the feast of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Holy Trinity.

One difficulty in knowing the mysterious Holy Spirit is because He is represented in various symbols. The Holy Spirit is portrayed as a dove that hovered over Christ when He was baptized at the river Jordan. In biblical time, the dove is regarded as a holy bird.
At Pentecost He came down “like wind.” “Wind” (pnoe in Greek) is used in the Scripture to designate a person’s “breath” or “spirit.” (Read Genesis 2,7; Acts 17,25). The Holy Spirit “inspires” or “breathes life into.” And one who is inspired receives life.

This is shown, for instance, when someone drowns and stops breathing. Somebody applies mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and his breath revives the unconscious person. This is a physical way of breathing life to a person.

For the apostles of Jesus, the dramatic renewal happened when the Holy Spirit descended upon them in tongues of fire on Pentecost Day. From scared, weak-kneed disciples hiding behind closed doors, the disciples went out and boldly proclaimed the teachings of Christ.

Like the disciples’ experience, the Spirit also calls us to conversion or spiritual transformation. I had a friend in the Ilocos who worked in the bank whose accounting expertise I consulted about school finances in our Divine Word College of Laoag.

He would talk profusely about money, but would keep mum when I shifted to religious matters. He wasn’t really that irreligious because he attended Sunday Mass regularly. But one would call him a “church pillar” – because, literally, he would just stand behind the pillars of the church!

We lost track of each other for years. When we met in Manila, I expected him to rattle off his favorite topic, but surprisingly, he was now talking about prayer meetings, service for the Lord and the like.

“What happened?” I asked. “It’s a long story,” he replied, “but after joining a Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS), I realized that I’d been missing a lot of important things in life. Where God occupied just the fringes before, now He is at the center of my life.”

The Holy Spirit won’t change us unless we WANT to be changed.

Did you ever experience, for instance, how deep in your heart you should give up gambling or underpaying your workers or helping someone in dire need but just brush him aside?

The Holy Spirit prompts us but it’s up to you to respond, accept, reject or ignore them. But when you do accept the Spirit’s call, then that’s the beginning of a new, joyful and more meaningful life as Christ’s follower.

THE LIGHTER SIDE. A Jew and a Chinese were arguing who among their ancestors came first in the world. The Jew said: “We, because we nailed Jesus to the cross!” The Chinese replied: “Really? From which hardware did you buy the nail?”
As the saying goes: God made the world and the rest are made in China.

Source: tempo.com.ph/2018/05/20/mysterious-holy-spirit/

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See Today’s Readings:  Cycle B

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