A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF PENTECOST – CYCLE “B” – MAY 20TH, 2018 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you on this Feast of Pentecost!
All of us know what it’s like, to grab a flashlight in a storm, or the garage door opener at night, or the remote control for TV, and then to find out that it doesn’t work, because the batteries are dead. Or maybe you’ve known the joy of running out of gas in your car. Why in the world does it always seem to happen when there’s a million things going on, and you’re not paying attention to the gas gauge, and at the worst times. Well, maybe if there weren’t a million things going on, you would have remembered to get gas in the first place. Or maybe it is just as simple as using your mobile phone, and thinking that your battery is charged up, only to find that you have less than two-percent power remaining. Once, I had to ask myself, can I call the Bishop on just 2% power. Which would be worse, calling him later after the phone was charged, or calling him with 2% power when you knew you were going to get cut off? Oh, the dilemmas of modern man, or the modern priest!
The truth is, we all know about what happens to so many of our modern conveniences when they run out of power. They don’t work. They stop. So much for modern convenience! When the battery dies, when the SUV is out of gas, when the phone is not charged, things are not going to work. And when the power is gone, we know that we have better have a back-up plan, because many things are not going to work.
As we celebrate this Feast of Pentecost today, we get reminded that the Holy Spirit IS the power source for the Church. It always has been. We need this Holy Spirit every bit as much today, as the Apostles needed it two-thousand years ago. The Church cannot survive without the Holy Spirit and Its Gifts and Its fruits. The Holy Spirit has been the power source for Catholic Christians and for the Church from the very beginning! In the best of times, it has been the Holy Spirit there for us, guiding us to exactly where we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to be doing. In the worst of times, and we have had many of those as Church, it has always been the Holy Spirit calling us back to Holiness and getting the Church back on track, to building the Kingdom of God. We have always been our best when we are working with and cooperating with the Holy Spirit. That is true, not only of us as Big Church, but it is also true for us as individuals!
As God’s people, we should be praying for the Holy Spirit every day! And unfortunately, we don’t! Too often, the Holy Spirit is the last person of the Holy Trinity that we think to pray to and for, in our daily prayers. And that is too bad, because so many times, the power that we need to be obedient to the Father, and to follow the Son, is found exactly in the Holy Spirit. Are you feeling run-down, tired, or worn-out spiritually? Then there’s a good chance that what you need is exactly the Holy Spirit! What you thought I was going to say Vitameatavegamn? Or crack cocaine? The Holy Spirit is exactly what charges us up and gets us out there bearing fruit for God! There is no substitute. And this free gift from God is always only a prayer away! The Holy Spirit will give you the courage that you need at any given moment. The Holy Spirit let you know exactly what to do or say, just when you need it. The Holy Spirit will guide you in every decision that you ever have to make. The Holy Spirit will give you everything that you need to care for someone who needs it, or to reach out to someone who is waiting on you, or to listen to someone who needs to talk, when you don’t think that you can listen to one more word! The Holy Spirit is amazing! That’s what the Apostles found out, two-thousand years ago, and it is what we most need to know, as we come here today for this special Feast Day.
Then of course, the Holy Spirit magnifies and empowers our individual gifts, to make them useful for the Church. Each one of us have gifts that our needed by God and by His Church. Each one of us! The Holy Spirit takes our gifts and it’s like the Holy Spirit puts them on steroids or something, because our little gifts become exactly what the Church needs at any given time! We might think as we sit here today, that I could never stand up and there and lead the music at Mass. And there are some of us that the Holy Spirit does not want to stand up here and lead the music at Mass, like me. But there are others that just need that push from the Holy Spirit, and YOU could be a great cantor! Or you might think I could never be an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, because I’m not holy enough. None of us are holy enough to do that, myself included. But somebody’s got to do it, and it does make you holier. Or maybe you think that I could never work in the Food Pantry, or I could never coach in Sport’s Ministry, or I could never visit the sick in the St. Francis Ministry, I am assuring you today, that if the Holy Spirit wants you in these ministries, you may as well sign up, because the Holy Spirit will give you everything that you need, to make it possible for you to serve!
Our God continues to pour out the Holy Spirit to touch the lives of each one of us. This Feast of Pentecost is all about being able to see and to sense how God has touched each of us with gifts, gifts that are necessary for the life of the Church! The Holy Spirit empowers the Church through our gifts today! Yes, some of our gifts are more visible than others, but ALL of those God-given gifts, all of them, are necessary, if we are going to be the Church God wants us to be!
Pentecost is about believing that the power of the Holy Spirit has been poured out upon each one of us! Those gifts can be pooled and put to use humbly and selflessly. We can’t do it alone. The Holy Spirit must be our never-ending power source. But with Him as our light and our power source, we can build the Church and the Kingdom, every day!
+ May God send down His Holy Spirit upon us, as we celebrate this Feast Day, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us!!!