HOMILY FOR PENTECOST SUNDAY YEAR C
RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT
Homily for Pentecost Sunday, year b.
1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13
John 20 :19-23
Beloved in Christ, today is Pentecost sunday, the great day of a fulfilled promise. In view of that, I have chosen ” RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT” as our theme for this sunday. The feast of Pentecost is the Jewish feast of weeks (Ex. 34:22) which occurs 50 days after the Passover (Deut. 16:10). It is the feast of harvest (Ex 23:16) marking the end of the wheat harvest. Also, Jewish tradition has it that the 10 commandments were given to Moses after the first Passover, which freed the Hebrews from their bondage in Egypt (Ex 19:20). Hence, it was the day Israel thanked God for his manifold blessings and this also explains the presence of so many people in Jerusalem.
Consequently, God on this day chose to undo what happened in the tower of Babel (Gen.11) by uniting the languages of men not necessarily in the spoken as in the unspoken language namely, LOVE-a summation of all the commandments.
Beloved, today there is this debate also as regards the naming of the solemnity we are celebrating. While some see today as the birthday of the Church, some others citing tradition are of the view that the Church was born with the death of Christ and manifested on the day of Pentecost. Therefore, the proper description for this day is the “epiphany of the Church” as stated by Pope Pius XII in “mystici corporis christi”.
My dear friend, as interesting as these arguments might be it suffices to say that they are for a different day and not today. This is because today celebrates the fact of Jesus and the Father fulfilling their promise not to leave us orphans. Again we also see the reward of faithful obedience and steadfastness in prayer.
Beloved for the ancient Church, Pentecost was a beginning of the Church born in the Spirit of God. In fact it was a beginning of zeal, fortitude and tremendous trust in the Spirit of God in ministry. However, for many today, Pentecost has been reduced to an end-the end of the Easter season.
Also, today so many people are afraid of the Holy Spirit. Why,
1. Some have seen abuses in the church by “charismatic” people or the “charismatic” movement. For instance, in our diocese we have the story of the infamous Marian apostolate and its crusades.
2. Many people also believe they must speak in “tongues” to be ” charismatic”. And this is a case of grave misunderstanding, for speaking in tongues is only one manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
3. The use of the term ” charismatic” or someone calling himself or herself “charismatic” has turned others off from the Holy Spirit. For every baptised and confirmed Catholic has “charisms” to bring into the Church and the society as a whole.
Beloved in Christ, as we celebrate Pentecost sunday let us remember that according to the Catechism, the Spirit empowers us and makes us strong Christians and soldiers of Christ ( CCC 1302). Therefore we can no longer be timid Christians.
Finally I urge you to share this homily with your friends to remind them that God does not recognise human labels and the fact that the Spirit is not magic.
This has been Fr. Dolphyne’s presentation for www. padredolphyne.wordpress.com as we celebrate Pentecost sunday, year C.
May God richly bless you.