PENTECOST SUNDAY, YEAR ‘A’
First Reading: Acts 2:1-11
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 103:1,24,29-31,34.
R. Cf. v.30
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13
Gospel Reading: John 20:19-23
THEME: THEY WERE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
What happened and they were filled with the Holy Spirit? When the promise of Jesus came to fulfilment they were filled with the Holy Spirit. When the Advocate, the Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth descended on the disciples of Jesus, they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Before the Ascension, Jesus told his followers that he was going to the Father, the One who sent him into the world. But he made them understand that he was not abandoning them. He promised them that he was going to ask the Father to send them another Advocate to be with them and to lead them to the complete truth. So today we are celebrating the fulfilment of that promise, the Feast of Pentecost, a day of a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Church.
There is always an inner peace and joy in the heart of anybody who is celebrating his or her birthday. In a similar way, we are celebrating the Feast of Pentecost, the birthday of the Universal Church of Christ. Pentecost is an old Jewish traditional feast. It was celebrated fifty days after the Passover to commemorate the arrival of the people of Israel near Mount Sinai where they received the ten commandments of the Law through Moses.
The feast of Pentecost is therefore a thanksgiving celebration for what God has done for the people of Israel and for the Universal Church of Christ. We are thanking God today for the gifts of the Holy Spirit: The Spirit of Wisdom, Piety, Fortitude, Knowledge, Understanding, Counsel, and the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord, which we have been praying for slightly over a week now.
According to the gospel of John and the Acts of the Apostles, when Jesus appeared among his disciples in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost, he said to them; “Peace be with you”. He then breathed on them and said; “Receive the Holy Spirit”. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages but the miracle or the mystery in the whole event was that they could understand themselves. In our own context, the language of the Holy Spirit that should be spoken for every believer to understand is the language of Unity and Love.
Love is a language that everybody understands irrespective of the age, ethnic, cultural, race, social, economic, or religious background. It is the language of the children of God. The Spirit of the Risen Lord that came upon the Church on the day of Pentecost has therefore replaced the old law and given a new law to all believers. And that is the law of love.
We pray for that Spirit of peace and joy as we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost today.
The celebration of Pentecost always gives us the opportunity to rededicate ourselves to be more faithful and active members of this family of God, which we all belong to.
As plants and crops wait for freshwater to enable them to grow and bear fruits, our hearts, our spirits, and our souls mostly lay dry and dusty waiting for the refreshing spiritual water from the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to enable them to bear spiritual fruits. And so we pray to God our loving Father who is the giver of everything, to send down the Holy Spirit upon each of us to establish unity in the world today and refresh:
- our souls, our dry and broken relationship with God and humanity
-To refresh our physical and spiritual zeal,
-To set us free from the hands of Satan who goes after us anywhere we go,
-To protect us against the plans of our enemy the devil
-And to defend us when Satan takes us to court for no apparent reason.
We equally pray for the Spirit of courage to enable us to stand firm for the truth at all times and be able to proclaim that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Today is a great day to ask the Holy Spirit to rekindle in us the spirit of new life and enthusiasm, the fire of God’s love.
“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your spirit and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth”.
Fr Bartholomew Zubeviel