THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

HOMILY, SOLEMNITY OF PENTECOST

Acts 2:1-11, Psalm 104:1ab.24ac.29bc-30.31.34(R.30), 1Cor 12:3b-7.12-13, Gospel 20:19-23

Today is the Solemnity of Pentecost. Pentecost means “the fiftieth”. It also means “The feast of the weeks”. It is one the Jewish festival which falls on the fiftieth day, a week of weeks, after the Passover.  The giving of the law to Moses on Mount Sinai was commemorated on this day with special holiday. It was also celebrated as a feast of thanksgiving for harvest.

The third of the five Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, the descent of the Holy Spirit happened on this Jewish special day. Just as the Jews commemorated the giving of law to Moses on this day, the disciples’ experience at the upper room teaches that the Spirit is the new law. It is the power which helps us to live the life of God. It is gift of love which helps us to be at the service of unity. It is power that binds the church together.

However, God the Father, in his special love for the world, sent his only Son to suffer and die in order to save us.  As Jesus brought salvation to the world, he equally bequeathed the Holy Spirit to the church. The Holy Spirit in turn comes with gifts to those who make themselves worthy of his infilling.

At baptism, we are cleansed of our sins; we are made children of God and members of the church. And the Spirit which we receive at baptism helps us to cry, Abba Father. [Roman 8; 15] The Holy Spirit helps us to recognize God as our Father and his Son our Lord Jesus Christ who he has sent.” For, no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit. He is the principal agent of conversion. Accepting Jesus as the Lord of our lives in words and deeds opens us to reception of the Holy Spirit.  This means that every true member of the church is entitled to the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

We are in the world, but not of the world. [John 15:19]. We belong to the kingdom of God. Hence, the Holy Spirit is our prerogative.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it is neither sees it nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be with you.” [John 14:16-17]

Since the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has been with us. We are the ones who should make ourselves available to him. And since it is difficult for the world to receive the Spirit, whoever chooses to live by the world standard will equally miss his Company. It follows then that it may be dangerous to call on the Holy Spirit when we have not give Jesus his place in our lives. We may run the risk of getting the wrong spirit, if we neglect to live by our baptismal vows. It takes purity of heart to flow well with the Holy Spirit.

More so, the Holy Spirit produces fruits of peace, joy and submission to the will God. If you are not peace or you lack inner joy, if you find it hard to be submissive, use this opportunity to ask Holy Spirit to fill you.

The Lord said,

If you then who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the   Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him? [Luke 11:13]

Dear beloved in Christ, let us open our heart to the Lord. Let us desire the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In all, let us remember that the gifts he will bestow upon us are meant for the growth of the church. They are to be used in love, to build up the church and not for personal gain.

PRAYER

O Holy Spirit, I know that you are here with me. I have opened my heart to you. Kindly fill me. Help me to live the life of grace. Empower to empower others. Strengthen me to strengthen others. Do all your works in me. Amen.

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