THE DIVINE WORD
PENTECOST SUNDAY, YEAR A
THEME: “COME; HOLY SPIRIT!”
((Readings: Acts 2:1-11; Ps 104; 1Cor 12:3b-7,12-13; Jn 20:19-23))
Today we celebrate Pentecost Sunday which marks the definitive end of the Easter Season. The word Pentecost is derived from the Greek word Pentekoste which literally means “Fiftieth” (day). For us Christians, it is a memorial of the day the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles and the Virgin Mary in the form of fiery tongues in Jerusalem, an event that took place fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus. Pentecost also commemorates the official birthday of the Christian Church by the apostolic preaching of St. Peter, resulting in the conversion of 3000 Jews to the Christian faith. Therefore, we wish our Mother Church and ourselves who became members through baptism a happy birthday. Pentecost is a day of renewal of our commitments and empowerment by the Holy Spirit.
Our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles describes in detail the miraculous transformation that took place during the first Pentecost: “The disciples had gathered together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” Acts 2:1ff
The following were the consequences of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit:
(1). THEY BEGAN TO SPEAK IN TONGUES. Now in this gathering people from different nations, cultures, and languages were present. Amazed by what they saw, the people present exclaimed: “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear THEM, each of us, in our own native language speaking about God’s deeds of power.?”
We should avoid literal translation of this testimony. Before the outpouring of the spirit, people were divided and prejudiced about one another in terms of ideas and cultures. The Holy Spirit came to unite their thoughts and feelings such that no matter the language, people were internally united in spirit. St. Joseph Freinademetz, an SVD missionary said “The only language understood by people everywhere is the language of love”: Even the deaf, the blind, toddlers, those still in the womb, and all cultures and religions will understand this language.
People are still divided in the world and are fighting because they are not able to speak the language of Love. Those who allow themselves to be transformed by the word of the Gospel and by the Spirit speak a language that everybody understands and which can bring people together, the language of love. The spirit forms a new family where all can understand each other in love. May the Holy Spirit renew in us the fruit of love for one another.
(2). RESTORATION OF PEACE AND FREEDOM FROM SLAVERY OF FEAR: In the gospel, Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit upon his disciples in order to restore their peace and free them from the slavery of fear. Christ knew that the Holy Spirit empowers and liberates. So, the Spirit we have received, “is not the spirit of fear and timidity, but the Spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Tim 1:7) According to our Catechism, the Holy Spirit empowers us, makes us strong Christians and soldiers of Christ (CCC 1302).
After this liberation and empowerment, the disciples had the courage to go out to the whole world and proclaim the good news. They no longer closed themselves indoors but they witnessed the good news with power, curing the sick, and casting out demons. Likewise, when we were baptized, we were freed from sin and empowered to be witnesses to the good news. Let us pray that the same spirit will renew in us our missionary zeal.
(3) WE RECEIVED THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: Empowerment comes through the different gifts we receive from the Holy Spirit. A gift is a special Charism or ability that we receive from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, all baptized Christians are Charismatic. The gifts of the holy spirit are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Speaking in Tongues, Healing, Piety, and Fear of God among others. (1Cor 12:7-11). Our Lord expects us to exhaust our gifts and talents to bring forth the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).
In a nutshell, it is only the Holy Spirit that can calm our fears and restore order to our lives. He alone can empower us to face the daily challenges of our lives, families, communities, and our world at large. He alone can give us the right insight we need to navigate through the complex moments of this life. The Spirit develops like a small seed implanted in our hearts. It will grow slowly and silently and, in the end, will produce fruits. May we always listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in order to know the direction he wants to lead us. Let us give him the chance to direct our lives, families, business, and studies.
Prayer: Lord, send forth your spirit and renew the face of the Earth. Alleluia.”
Fr. Antony Muchui, SVD
HAVE A PEACEFUL WEEK!! ((Contact our vocation office on +255629269140 or +254782299140))
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the word and the spirit of Grace; and may the heart of Jesus live in the heart of all the people. Amen” SVD Prayer