Homily for the Feast of Pentecost Year C.
Theme: WE NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT
By: Fr. Clem Mezie Aladi.
Homily for Sunday, June 9 2019
GOSPEL JOHN 20:19-23.
*”For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear…*(cf Rom 8:14ff)
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ today we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, the feast of the decent of the Holy Spirit on our blessed mother Mary and Apostles in form of fiery tongues of fire. It is a feast of the birth of the Church’s missionary activity manifested in the transformation of the frightened Apostles into fearless preachers and evangelizers and a feast of unification manifested in the gift of tongues that united everyone in hearing the Apostolic preaching of Peter in their native language, thus a reversal of the curse of Babel in Genesis 11:7.It is a feast of renewal indeed, renewal of God’s creation. Celebrated 50days after Easter by Christians or 50days after Passover by the Jews, this feast has occupied a pride of place in Christianity because of the enormous influence of the third person of the blessed Trinity; the Holy Spirit in our Christian life.
Catholic Theology says that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as from a single principle. He is together with the Father and the Son adored and glorified. It is He who spoke through the Prophets and continues to speak through the Prophets of our time and the magisterium. Hence He is the *teacher* , the *advocate* , the *consoler* , the *Helper* , the *counsellor* etc. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of Love, because love unites. He is the love of the Father and the Son, the Love that binds the Trinity as one. Although described in various symbolic ways as fire, breath, wind, dove etc. in the scriptures, the Holy Spirit is essentially the one and the same third person of the trinity even though His modes of manifestation and activity varies.
*WE NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT:*
We need the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our world that is growing too cold to things of God. A world bedevilled by secularism and materialism. A world where men and women trust machines than the word of God. We need the spirit to rekindle the fire and passion for things of God.
~ In a world where temptations are daily luring us away from obedience to God’s word we the Holy Spirit to strengthen us in the war against sin and in bearing witness to Christ by our sincere and honest Christian lives and witnessing.
~We need the Holy Spirit because He sanctifies and makes us Holy through the sacraments that is why we must receive them devoutly in a state of grace. A Christian who seeks to be holy must submit him/herself to the sanctifying power of the Spirit through the reception of any sacrament that is due at every stage of ones life.
~The world constantly floods us with erroneous teachings. Many Christian groups and social media are not even helping matters. Worst still, many Governments of the world has legalized evils, making even the young and old confused in deciphering what is right or wrong, what is true or false, what is moral and immoral. We need to Holy Spirit to help us to discern what is right and follow it, to enlighten our confused and darkened minds, to teach us the truth. By listening to the word of God daily and meditating on them, by submitting ourselves to the infallible teaching of magisterium and by obeying and believing in our doctrines and dogmas, we can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit re-echoing in our hearts. He inspires us too, to do good by speaking to us in our depth of our hearts and directing us to a worthy cause of action. *Those who listen to this inner voice and wait for His directions, hardly regret their actions or fail in their missions.* When human sentiments, emotions and affections beclouds our minds, the Holy Spirit makes the distinctions and clarifies our vision.
Therefore commit everything to God in prayers because the Holy Spirit listens to us in prayers and helps us to pray in a more acceptable way. When we dispose ourselves, we receive His gifts to function more effectively in our various callings and ministries in life. We need the courage of the Spirit to proclaim the gospel fearlessly even if our live is endangered. point
We really need Him even much more now. We must allow Him to influence and take control of our lives.
The first reading from Acts of the Apostles recounts the great event and the miraculous transformation that took place during the first Pentecost thus fulfilling God’s promise to His Apostles of sending the Paraclete. They were empowered to preach and evangelize and they preached fearlessly. Through Baptism, we receive the Holy Spirit and it’s fullness in confirmation. Thus we are empowered like the Apostles to be missionaries, to preach the truth of God’s word in words and actions any time, any day, any where. We must fearlessly confront the evils in our society today rather than shrink away in fear and let evil thrive. The early martyrs were able to face the brutal persecution through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, so He is still with us today and have not abandoned us or His church that’s why we must condemn and uproot any unjust structures in society, and condemn unjust practices or laws. Evil can never triumph over good. We are soldiers of Christ let us not be afraid.
In the second reading from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians 12ff, Paul explains that there are different spiritual gifts, fruits and charisms but all comes from the same spirit given to each one of us for same purpose of building up of the body of Christ- the Church. Our gifts should unite us in this common mission and goal and should not be a source of conflict or division among us. *Whoever uses his or her gifts for personal gains, not only causes division in the church but works against the Holy Spirit* .
The Gospel passage relates how the Risen Jesus gave his apostles a foretaste of Pentecost on the evening of Easter Sunday by appearing to them and sending them to carry on the mission given him by his Heavenly Father. He then empowered them to do so by breathing upon them and saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” On the day of Pentecost, Jesus fulfilled his promise to send the Advocate or Paraclete. The Gospel also tells us how Jesus gave to the Apostles the power and authority to forgive sins. The presence of the Holy Spirit is bound inseparable with the gift of forgiveness, and are referred to directly in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but they have a much wider meaning. We are reminded today that our Christian vocation implies showing love to others and offering them forgiveness as we have been loved and forgiven by Christ especially in our world today which is often fiercely judgmental and vengeful.
The feast of Pentecost offers us the chance to look at the role which forgiveness should play in our dealings with others. Thus, we are challenged to examine our sense of compassion, patience, tolerance and magnanimity. *Learning to forgive is a lifelong task, but the Holy Spirit is with us to make us agents of forgiveness.* If we are prepared on this day of Pentecost to receive the Holy Spirit into our lives, we can have confidence that our lives will be marked by the Spirit of forgiveness.
The Holy Spirit dwells in you, you are His temple. But you can expel Him through obstinacy in sin. Let us make our life a Holy dwelling place for Him by reconciling with God in every situation of sinfulness. Let us listen to the voice of the Spirit and allow Him to direct and influence our lives. May you be filled with His gifts and remain blessed.
*Prayer* : _Come holy spirit and fill the hearts of the faithful and enkindle in us the fire of your love…_.
I keep you and your family always in my prayers.
Fr. Clem Mezie Aladi.