HOMILY FOR PENTECOST SUNDAY 2023
1. WHAT IS PENTECOST?
Today we celebrate the SOLEMNITY OF PENTECOST which commemorates the DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT UPON THE APOSTLES and marks the PUBLIC MANIFESTATION OF CHRIST’S CHURCH TO THE ENTIRE HUMANITY.
- The word PENTECOST comes from the Greek word PENTECOSTES, meaning 50th to indicate the moment of the Holy Spirit’s descent at the 50th day after the Resurrection of Christ.
2. WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
- God the HOLY SPIRIT is the 3rd Person of the Most Holy Trinity. He is the LOVE WHICH PROCEEDS FROM THE FATHER AND THE SON, THE CONSOLER, SANCTIFIER, SOUL OF THE CHURCH, AND OUR TEACHER IN OUR LIFE AS CHRISTIANS.
3. CHRISTIAN LIFE AS A SCHOOL WHERE GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE TEACHER
ANECDOTE: Story of a girl from a very poor family who wanted to be a lawyer.
- His father was a tricycle driver and with his meager income, he tried to support his daughter in her university studies.
- Her daughter suffered a lot. Many times she didn’t have enough money for her transportation and her meals, such that her close friends at school would lend her money, or give her food.
- That girl, with her determination, was able to graduate and obtain her law degree with honors and including coveting the top 10 spot in the National Bar exams. What made her reach her goal?
- Her determination, the sacrifice of her father, the generosity of many people, and the goodness of God to which she knew how to correspond.
OUR LIFE AS CHRISTIANS IS A SCHOOL WHERE WE ARE THE POOR STUDENTS LIKE THAT GIRL FROM A POOR FAMILY, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE TEACHER AND THE GIVER OF ALL THE GRACES, which that poor girl received from her father, her friends, and her professors, all of whom helped her to obtain her goal.
- As the Sanctifier, God the Holy Spirit makes us holy, other Christs.
- As the Love which proceeds from the Father and the Son, He teaches us how to love with God’s love and makes us see God and put supernatural tone in all that we do: in our thoughts, desires, feelings and actions.
- As the Teacher, he inspires and enables us to do what is good and carry out God’s Will.
4. AND WE ARE THE POOR STUDENTS.
AS POOR STUDENTS GIFTED BY THE GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WE TOO must learn how to CORRESPOND to the graces we have received like that girl from a poor family. We must
- WANT what GOD WANTS with love and determination
- LISTEN and OBEY what the HOLY SPIRIT asks us in each moment in our soul and through her instruments
- DO WHAT He wants, HOW He wants, WHEN he wants, leading us to the path which makes us other Christs without resisting, by saying ‘later… tomorrow.
5. LOVE GOD FOR WHO HE IS
We have been dealing with God the Holy Spirit, invoking Him to help us in all that we do. Let us also ask Him for the grace to correspond with love and determination to His graces so that we may be able TO LOVE GOD, not for the sake of the blessings we receive from Him, or for the growth in holiness and reaching heaven, but FOR WHO HE IS, OUR GOD WHO IS WORTHY OF ALL OUR LOVE.
6. INVOKE OUR LADY, SPOUSE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Today we invoke the intercession of our Mother Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the person in the world who knew most and best how to correspond with LOVE, DOCILITY AND OBEDIENCE to the inspirations of the HOLY SPIRIT, thus being the HUMAN PERSON who loved GOD MOST in the HISTORY OF HUMANITY.
Mother Mary, through your loving maternal intercession, help us LOVE THE MOST HOLY TRINITY ABOVE ANYTHING ELSE.
“BREATHE IN ME O HOLY SPIRIT, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy” by St. Augustine of Hippo.
A READING ON THE MISSION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE CHURCH
from Lumen gentium, nos. 4 & 12 (Second Vatican Council)
When the Son completed the work with which the Father had entrusted him on earth, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost to sanctify the Church unceasingly, and thus enable believers to have access to the Father through Christ in the one Spirit. He is the Spirit of life, the fountain of water welling up to give eternal life. Through him the Father gives life to men, dead because of sin, until he raises up their mortal bodies in Christ.
The Spirit dwells in the Church and in the hearts of the faithful as in a temple. He prays in them and bears witness in them to their adoption as sons. He leads the Church into all truth and gives it unity in communion and in service. He endows it with different hierarchical and charismatic gifts, directs it by their means, and enriches it with his fruits.
By the power of the Gospel he enables the Church to grow young, perpetually renews it, and leads it to complete union with its Bridegroom. For the Spirit and the Bride say to the Lord Jesus: “Come!”
In this way the Church reveals itself as a people whose unity has its source in the unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The whole company of the faithful, who have an anointing by the Holy Spirit, cannot err in faith. They manifest this distinctive characteristic of theirs in the supernatural instinct of faith (‘sensus fidei’) of the whole people when, from the bishops to the most ordinary lay person among the faithful, they display a universal agreement on matters of faith and morals.
This instinct of faith is awakened and kept in being by the Spirit of truth. Through it the people of God hold indefectibly to the faith once delivered to the saints, penetrate it more deeply by means of right judgement, and apply it more perfectly in their lives. They do all this under the guidance of the sacred teaching office: by faithful obedience to it they receive, not the word of men but in truth the word of God.
Moreover, the Holy Spirit not only sanctifies and guides God’s people by the sacraments and the ministries, and enriches it with virtues, he also distributes special graces among the faithful of every state of life, assigning his gifts to each as he chooses. By means of these special gifts he equips them and makes them eager for various activities and responsibilities that benefit the Church in its renewal or its increase, in accordance with the text: To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for a good purpose.
These charisms, the simpler and more widespread as well as the most outstanding, should be accepted with a sense of gratitude and consolation, since in a very special way they answer and serve the needs of the Church.
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