Pentecost Sunday

SECOND READING  Acts 2: 1-11

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven
staying in Jerusalem.
At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,
but they were confused
because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded, and in amazement they asked,
“Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?
Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?
We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,
inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,
as well as travelers from Rome,
both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,
yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty acts of God.”

The Solemnity of Pentecost: Empowered by the Spirit

They gathered in the Upper Room fifty days after Easter where Jesus told them to wait.  Then under the signs of wind and tongues of fire His Holy Spirit filled their hearts and souls.  The Holy Spirit was given to the followers of Jesus Christ.  And the living Church is born. Today is the birthday of our Church.

Each one of us has been empowered by the Holy Spirit by Baptism and Confirmation to continue the work of our Savior.  And people who are searching will notice how God is the center of your lives.  The Holy Spirit is working within you and through you reaching out to others.

Good Catholic parents share their Catholic Faith with their children and rejoice as they see their children growing in their spiritual life.  Such parents realize that Catholic schools and religious education programs can only build upon the teachings and examples of the parents themselves in building a solid spiritual foundation for their children.  As they watch their children praying, they realize that somehow, mystically, spiritually, God is working through them.  And their work, your work, the work of raising children for the Lord, is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Good Catholics reach out to those who need help, perhaps to seniors, perhaps to the homebound or the hospitalized, perhaps to the grieving, perhaps to those in nursing homes or in prison, or they spend time assisting with various charities. And their work, your work, the works of mercy, is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Good Catholics who have various talents use them to build up God’s Kingdom in their parish as musicians, lectors, ushers, extraordinary ministers, servers, and helpers at fundraisers. Young and old do their best to promote moral goodness in school activities, sports and community projects.  And their work, your work, is the work of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is alive in the Church, right here, right now.  We encounter His presence on a daily basis in every aspect of our lives. We are inspired to reach out to others.  We have been empowered to continue the work of Jesus Christ.  People are longing to find meaning in their lives, purpose, and fulfillment.  They are longing for the spiritual.  Perhaps they are waiting for us to proclaim with our lives that Jesus Christ is Lord.  Today and everyday is Pentecost.

The Opening Prayer for the Mass of Pentecost says it well: “Father of Light, from whom every good gift comes, send your Spirit into our lives with the power of a mighty wind, and by the flame of your wisdom open the horizons of our minds. Loosen our tongues to sing your praise in words beyond the power of speech, for without your Spirit man could never raise his voice in words of peace or announce the truth that Jesus is Lord.” 

Fr. Tom