Homily for Pentecost Sunday, Year A
1Cor 12:3b -7, 12-13
Theme : COME HOLY SPIRIT
Beloved in Christ, this Sunday is a special day, for it commemorates the fiftieth day after the resurrection of Jesus Christ and also marks that special day on which Jesus Christ fulfilled his promise of sending the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, who had gathered behind closed doors in Jerusalem. This day then is the culmination of the Paschal mystery and also marks the end of the Easter season.
Beloved, for this reason, the Easter Candle which has been burning since Holy Saturday to remind us of the Light that has come into the world, will be set aside and will only be used during baptism and funeral mass. This gesture will also remind us that the fifty day period of rejoicing over the resurrection of Jesus Christ has come to a definitive end. Hence, the season of Ordinary Time will begin with our attention drawn to the teachings, parables and the miracles of Jesus Christ.
Beloved, for the Jews, Pentecost was a day of gratitude; a celebration of thanksgiving for the completion of the harvest and it was the second of their three great feasts (Passover, Pentecost and Trumpets). It was also called the feast of Weeks and was celebrated seven weeks after the Passover. But later when the Temple in Jerusalem was built, the celebration of Pentecost acquired an added meaning, for it also marked the day when the ten commandments were given on Mount Sinai. Thus , a celebration of the covenant that made Israel the special possession of the Lord.
My dear friend, for us Christians, however, Pentecost commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles in fulfilment of Jesus’s promise not to leave them orphaned. It is a celebration of our renewed relationship with the Father in which we are restored to our original state of sons and daughters. This relationship had been severed by sin (cf Romans 8:14-15).
Beloved, the coming of the Holy Spirit is to draw all people together in Christ, people of different languages and countries. Also it is to empower us and make us strong Christians and Soldiers of Christ (cf CCC 1302). Therefore, we as Christians cannot celebrate Pentecost with joy and run away from the demands of the gospel. For Pentecost is a commemoration of our break away from sin, fear, timidity and cowardice and a reminder that God will always reward faithful obedience and steadfastness in prayer.
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