HOMILY OF PENTECOST SUNDAY
Acts 2:1-11, 1 Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13, John 20:19-23
THEME: THE SPIRIT’S SOUND
“When Pentecost day came round, they had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting.”
Sound is a universal means of communication that enables individuals and communities to share ideas, feelings, and information. Some sounds, like sirens, bells, and alarms, have symbolic meaning for us because they tell us about important things, danger, or times to celebrate.
On Pentecost day, when the disciples were released in tongues, all the people who gathered to watch the spectacle were surprised because they were able to hear them clearly in their own mother tongue. The sound was necessary because something new was born. It was necessary that something drew people’s attention to the scene. The sound was a jingle; a bell to bring people to witness the birth of the church. And once the disciples were imbued with the Holy Spirit, they began massive conversion.
The evidence of the Holy Spirit in us is made concrete when through us people can easily be brought to the knowledge of God. His spirit is not a spirit of confusion, but of understanding.
Since he is a person, the Holy Spirit presence must be felt in our relationship with people and not only in the demonstration of his power. We limit ourselves only to the sound if we simply glory in our gifts and forget the intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. If we focus on the outward manifestation of the spirit and neglect our inner call to holiness, we run the risk of attracting attention to ourselves without having what it takes to witness to the life the Holy Spirit gives.
However, having begun a journey of faith in the Holy Spirit, he endows us with different gifts for special missions. He gives us special anointing for proficiency according to his merciful designs for each of us. We see in the gospel how Jesus visited the disciples again and breathed on them and commissioned them with the mission of reconciliation.
“As the father sent me, so am I sending you.’ After saying this he breathed on them and said: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.”
Drunk with the assurance of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we must not think that we can do all things. We need his specific direction in the line of the gift he has given to us.
“So, we are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us. If our gift is to speak God’s message, we should do it according to the faith that we have” Rom 12:6
If the coming of the Holy Spirit gave birth to the church, the gifts he has bestowed must be for the growth of the church and not for our own personal gain. Our gifts must not make us proud. They must help us to effectively reach out to others in mutual love and reverence.
I pray that as we celebrate the Pentecost, God will use us more to reach out to others in love. Amen.