Pentecost Sunday Year C. 09-06-2019 by Fr. Lubem Robert Waya, osj.
First Reading: Acts 2:1-11
Psalm: Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34
Second Reading: Romans 8:8-17
Gospel: John 14:15-16. 23-26
Today on this solemnity of Pentecost being the 50th day of the Resurrection of Christ, we have come to the end of the Easter season as we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ and His mother, marking the official birth of the Church as the one holy Catholic and apostolic Church that is missionary in nature. Just as the public ministry of Jesus began with the coming of the Spirit at His Baptism, so the ministry of the Church began on this day with the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is important in the life of the Church because without the Holy Spirit, the mission of the Church to make disciples of all nations will be impossible.
In the account of Pentecost day in the first reading, we notice that there are a lot of strange happenings. There was the sound of the wind, the tongues of fire descending on the heads of the disciples and the disciples speaking in different foreign languages. However, people could understand them as they spoke. All these show that there was a divine intervention from God, something that brought a transformation to the lives of the followers of Christ. This transformation turned the followers of Christ from a band of just disciples into an active group of apostolic evangelisers. Their role and function changed from being mere listeners who observe and follow Christ learning from Him, to active preachers who explain the Gospel, perform miracles in the name of Christ and celebrate the sacraments as well as make Christ known to the whole world.
This is a radical turn around that undid what happened at the Tower of Babel when there was discord between tribes and races based on language. Today although mankind is not given a new actual language, she is nevertheless given one new way of understanding God when the discord between races is healed and the peoples of the Earth are now able to discover a new unity through faith in Jesus Christ. It is this new faith that will gradually draw humanity together so that on the Last Day we can all speak with one faith and with one voice proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord. And this new language we are called to speak in the name of Christ is love. This is why God desires that His Spirit should make a home in us, because unless we possess the Spirit of God, we would not belong to Him. And it is because of God’s Spirit dwelling in us that we are sure of the hope of everlasting life.
Let us therefore allow God’s Spirit to inspire us and move us to do God’s will, for without His Spirit we cannot even obey Him. However, when His Spirit possesses us, nothing can hold us back. That is why after the descent of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were no longer afraid, and they left the upper room to go about fearlessly proclaiming the Gospel of Christ. This is what the Sacrament of confirmation accomplishes in us; transforming us from being passive disciples, mere children in religious terms, into active apostles and evangelisers. Being filled with the Holy Spirit should make us step outside of ourselves to reach out with the good news to those around us. As the disciples were united in the upper room to receive the Holy Spirit, we must note that the Holy Spirit is not a spirit of disunity and cannot come to us if we are not united in love. Love begets unity and unity begets peace, and these two are the pre-conditions for the reception of the Holy Spirit. That is why we see that Christ first of all gives peace to His disciples before promising them the gift of the Holy Spirit. Because without love and peace, the Holy Spirit cannot come. Let us welcome God’s Holy Spirit and ask Him to set us free from whatever is holding us back from doing the will of God in our lives. Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of thy love. Amen.