Pentecost Sunday Year C

Readings: Acts 2:1-11, Psalm 104:1,24,29-30,31&34, 1Corinthians 12:3b-7,12-13, John 2019-23

The Holy Spirit, the continued manifestation of God’s love

Today as we celebrate the solemnity of the Pentecost, we celebrate the birth of the Church. It is the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles that gives strength to the community of believers to enable them start the mission entrusted to them by Christ. Pentecost also doubles as the manifestation of God’s love. That love which started right from the time of creation, and that continued also through the incarnation, the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. God created us out of love, and even when we had fallen in sin, he sent his son Jesus Christ to redeem us out of love. Now he also sends the Holy Spirit to sanctify us in that same love.

The Holy Spirit being the third person of the Holy Trinity reveals to us another face of God who seeks to be present and working in us without necessarily being seen yet inspiring our actions and choices. From the creation narrative in the book of genesis, having created Adam, God breathed on him the breath of life. In today’s gospel, the same gesture is repeated by Jesus to the apostles, he breathed on them and said receive the holy spirit. So, the Holy Spirit is the breath of life, the Hebrew Ruah. Without this breath there is no life. Without the Holy Spirit we are dead, there is no life in the Church. Thus, it is out of this paramount event that the Church is animated.

The Holy Spirit transforms us

There in an inevitable change that happens in the life of man thorough the breath of the holy spirit. The very first one is life that is given and revived. Secondly even human existential situations begin to change for the better. From the gospel, the disciples were enclosed indoors seized with of fear for the Jews, but the reception of the Holy Spirit breaks the barrier of fear and makes them audacious preachers, not afraid even to give up their own lives. When we are filled with fears and uncertainties, when life seems to close its opportunities to us, when tears roll through our eyes and we seem to see no hope for tomorrow, the Holy Spirit makes us to believe that there is still a chance of transformation through him.

There is a bond of unity that the holy spirit creates. This is the bond that makes us identify with each other because the holy spirit breaks all cultural and lingual barriers bringing all who believe not anymore to cling to the differences but to the common denominator, the Holy Spirit which all have received. The Spirit penetrates the hearts of all mankind and brings the much-desired unity that Christ prayed for (John 17:20).

The gifts of the Holy Spirit

The transformation brought by the Holy Spirit is expressed also in the seven gifts wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. Each of these gifts corresponds to aspects of human life that are vital in the journey of faith. Wisdom gives us the ability to make right judgements in life. Understanding helps us to perceive and comprehend life experiences and information. Fortitude is the unshaken commitment to God with courage and determination in all situations, good or bad. Knowledge gives us the ability to learn. Fear of the Lord makes us aware of his omnipotence and thus revere him. Piety makes us to strive for personal holiness in all that we do. Counsel gives us the right sense of judgment while seeking or giving advice.

These seven gifts of the Holy Spirit help us to bear fruit in our life and to live in good relationship with God and with one another. They are also an expression of service that we should render to one another as saint Paul says in the first letter to the Corinthians 12:7. Todays feast therefore also challenges to live in unity, to proclaim God’s love in all languages, tongues and to narrate the marvels that the Lord has done for us. the unity of the Holy Spirit makes us to look beyond the language or tribe we belong to so as to see in each other a brother and a sister in the Lord. The Holy spirit can accomplish this in us if we cooperate with him, if we let his breath blow to us.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle in them the power of your love. Send forth your Spirit O’ Lord and renew the face of the earth. Amen

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