Pentecost Sunday – Year C
Acts.2:1-11; 1 Cor. 12:3-7, 12-13, Jn. 20:19-23
“Pentecost,” what does it mean? The word “Pentecost” means the “fiftieth day” after Easter.
Yes, seven weeks have already passed since Easter. It seems like Easter was just a couple of weeks ago, but no, it was nearly a couple of months ago.
Why do we celebrate “Pentecost?” It is because on that day nearly two thousand years ago, the Holy Catholic Church was made known to the world by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
The event: On the day of Pentecost 1) The Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and Blessed Virgin Mary as fiery tongues.
2) The frightened Apostles were transformed into fiery preachers and evangelizers by a special anointing of the Holy Spirit.
3) The audience experienced a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit with the gift of tongues, hearing Peter speaking in their languages.
4) The early Christians became powerful witnesses and brave martyrs for the faith.
A Story: A Pastor heard that one of his parishioners was going about announcing to one and all that he would no longer attend the church services.
This rebellious parishioner was advancing the familiar argument that he could communicate with God just as easily out in the fields with nature as his setting for worship.
One winter evening, the pastor called on this reluctant member of his flock for a friendly visit.
The two men sat before the fireplace making small talk, but studiously avoiding the issue of church attendance.
After a while, the pastor took the tongs from the rack next to the fireplace and pulled a single coal from the fire. He placed the glowing ember on the hearth.
As the two watched in silence, the coal quickly ceased burning and turned an ashen gray, while the other coals in the fire continued to burn brightly. The pastor’s silent message was not lost on the parishioner.
After a long pause, he turned to the pastor and said, “I’ll be back to the church next Sunday.”
In Community Is Strength. (Unity is strength). The Holy Spirit is our connection with Christ. It is through the Spirit that we share in Christ’s life.
This is one of the basic gifts the Spirit gives us, a sharing in Christ’s life. The Spirit helps us individually, but the Spirit also helps us in and through the Church.
Before Jesus died he established a community of believers and gave that community teachers and leaders. It was on this community, which is the church, that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit.
(This is why the Pentecost is considered the birthday of the Church).
The Spirit touches our lives through this community, through its beliefs, its values, its sacraments, its teachings and through our love for one another as members of the same body of Christ.
Archbishop Romero’s declaration reminds us that Pentecost is not just one day, but every day. Without breath, there is no life. Without the Spirit, the Church is a field of dry, dead bones.
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen once said about the Church that even though we are God’s chosen people, we often behave more like God’s frozen people.
God’s frozen people indeed: frozen in our prayer life, frozen in the way we relate with one another and frozen in the way we celebrate our faith.
We don’t seem to be happy to be in God’s house; we are always in a hurry to get it over and done with as soon as possible.
So, today is a great day to ask the Holy Spirit to rekindle in us the spirit of new life and enthusiasm, the fire of God’s love.
Pentecost is a celebration of a new beginning, a celebration of God’s New Creation.
Here are some questions that come to my mind to reflect upon:
Do I carve out special intimate time to share with the Lord, time for prayer, meditation and worship, being in God’s presence?
Jesus spoke of having eyes to see and ears to hear. To what things am I giving my attention?
We are busy and concerned about many things but we should also be very concerned about our personal relationship with God.
So on this Pentecost Sunday, let’s you and I give attention not only to the workings of the Holy Spirit in the Church, but likewise give attention to the promptings, the movements, and the inspirations of the Holy Spirit in each one of us individually.
After all, as St. Paul reminds us:
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought and paid for with a price.” (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
Let us repeat Cardinal Newman’s favorite little prayer today and everyday: “Come Holy Spirit:”
“Come Holy Spirit Make our ears to hear , Make our eyes to see,
Make our mouths to speak, Make our hearts to seek, Make our hands to reach out And touch the world with your love. Amen.”
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing.