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Pentecost Sunday

May 31, 2020

Pentecost Sunday

May 31, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11

Psalm 104

First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 12-3b-7, 12-13

John 20-19-23

 

For the past few weeks the daily and weekend readings were from the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of Saint John which have prepared us for today, the Feast of Pentecost.  Today we celebrate the day when the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples and the Catholic Church was founded.  After He ascended to the Father our Lord fulfilled His promise and has not abandoned us, He has not orphaned us.  He has sent us the Advocate, the Paraclete, the Spirt of Truth to guide us throughout our lives.

It is fifty days after the Resurrection of Jesus and the great birthday of our Church.  It may be one of the most neglected of the Church’s feast days.  We don’t hang lights as we do at Christmas, and we don’t wear fancy hats and eat lost of candy as we do at Easter.  And, there are no big pre-Pentecost sales at Macy’s.

It is pretty obvious that I don’t think we give Pentecost the credit or attention it deserves.  Partly because the one who dwells at the center of the great feast, the  Holy Spirit of God, is surprisingly low key.  Despite arriving with a roaring of a great winds and tongues of fire, the Holy Spirit is very much someone who likes to stay in the background.  He works behind the scenes.  Most importantly through the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation He works inside us. 

To many of us, the Holy Spirit seems to be the quietest member of the Blessed Trinity.  After all, throughout Sacred Scripture, God the Father speaks often through the prophets of the Old Testament, and, of course, Jesus speaks to us throughout the Gospels.  However you would be hard pressed to find a famous quote from the Holy Spirit.  It sometimes seems as if the Spirit is the Trinity’s “silent partner.”  Today I would like to suggest that the Holy Spirit does indeed speak to us.  Eloquently!  Passionately!  Fearlessly!  We must listen to His voice within us.

It all begins in the Acts of the Apostles and the account of Pentecost.  We have heard that the disciples, “Were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.”

Moments after His descent, the Holy Spirit gave the disciples a voice, a voice that could not be contained in that upper room. A voice that needed to be heard and spread to the entire known world.  A voice that all could understand!

Despite the wide range of cultures and languages gathered in Jerusalem that day, everyone there heard and understood the disciples.  The people said, We hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.”  The people began to listen and hear, through the disciples, the voice of Jesus through the Holy Spirit of God.  So now God’s great work transcends time, place, language and culture.  It is infinite.  It is Catholic” in the truest sense of what the word means; it is now truly universal.

And so it began.  The Holy Spirit of God has spent the ensuing centuries expressing the inexpressible – from the mouths of saints and from the pens of popes and prophets making sure that the world continues to hear, in every language, in every medium, across every barrier, the Good News about the “mighty acts of God.”

As I mentioned earlier, before His Ascension, our Lord described the Spirit as our “Advocate.”  And so He is!  This member of the Blessed Trinity stands with us and beside us, pleading our cause, and acting on our behalf.  He helps to lead us where God wants us to go, to help fulfill His Holy will.  The Holy Spirit of God works to inspire, to encourage and to uplift.  He has inflamed our hearts, again and again, to preach and to proclaim, to counsel and to console. 

Today you may not hear a strong driving wind or see tongues of fire.  But pray for the voice and the light that is the Holy Spirit to be in your life.  Welcome the Spirit’s warmth and friendship.  Turn to Him.  Call upon Him for guidance and direction.  He will always answer you.

My sisters and brothers, you will never see any “Happy Pentecost” cards in the Hallmark store or tomorrow there won’t be Pentecost decorations that are half price at the Wal-Mart.   But please believe that this is a great feast day for our Church and for the faithful.  It is a towering and enduring moment, the day when our Church was born.  Celebrate this day of days and give thanks for it. 

Question of the Day: How will you turn to the Holy Spirit of God to guide you towards the kingdom of heaven? 

 Holy Spirit of God

Prayer:  “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.  Amen.”

Please continue to pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic.

Prosit

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