Father Alan's Homily

Pentecost Sunday


June 9, 2019

Today covering the Crucifix is a representation of Jesus the High Priest risen from the dead standing before the Cross and He is sending down flames of fire through the power of the Holy Spirit. This banner speaks volumes about what we believe has happened in the early Church and what is happening in our own time period. We have all been born again in water and the Holy Spirit. 

The first Pentecost included Mary, the Apostles, and a crowd of disciples. These were all followers of Jesus for they had witnessed his miracles, loved his message of love, grieved over his suffering and death, and rejoiced at his resurrection. They were bewildered that Jesus had promised to be with them as we have been reading these last fifty days of Easter and how they came to know him in a new and different way. All through this process of faith, they were sticking together and were crowded together in one house and praying as one.

The scene which is recorded for us in the Acts of the Apostles was an almost chaotic experience and to say the least a dramatic one. We read: and suddenly there came for the sky a noise like a strong driving wind and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And began to speak in different tongues as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. When people ask for the gift of tongues, the Holy Spirit still gives this charism for building up the Church. M any Christians through the Holy Spirit till pray and sing in tongues just as they did two thousand years ago. Historians say that Gregorian chant which we have prayed at Mass for centuries has its roots in the gift of tongues.

Saint Paul reminds us that there are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. This is a feast of possibilities since the Spirit opens up new horizons for us as it did for the early Christians.

If we allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit which dwells in each one of us, we can face challenges, manifest different vocations in service to the whole community of faith and bring many people to Christ by proclaiming the Good News to all those we meet. 

Our Pentecost mission is to share our gifts and spend our selves nurturing others, drawing them into the unity of the Spirit and the peace of God’s kingdom. What gifts has the Lord given to me and how does the Holy Spirit want me to use them for his honor and glory and for my brothers and sisters. 

Come Holy Spirit Come!