A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF PENTECOST – CYCLE “A” – 6/8/14 – SMG
Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you on this Feast Day!
There are many things in life that they tell us not to do by ourselves. Many times, doing something with another person is perfectly fine, but doing it by yourself put you in danger. When I was a kid they used to say this all the time about swimming. Don’t swim alone. The Boy Scouts used to even have a term for this, the Buddy System, where when you were swimming at Scout camp, you kept an eye on your “buddy” and he would also watch out for you. It was a way of keeping everybody safe. Then when I was in high school, and we would work out with weights, our coaches always made us have a spotter. Your spotter kept you from getting crushed when your ego was bigger than your muscles. There were several times when I was glad that my spotter was there. When I got a little older and would like to go fishing or hunting, again the advice was also to not go alone. First of all, it’s more fun to go with friends, but it is safer and easier to not be by yourself out in the woods, with guns, and knives, and fishing hooks. I always was better at hooking myself, than hooking fish!
We come to Mass today to celebrate the Ultimate Buddy System. Before Jesus left us, He promised us the Holy Spirit. He said that the Holy Spirit would make everything make sense. He said that the Holy Spirit would be our help, our security, and our guide. He promised us that He would not leave us all by ourselves, but that through the Holy Spirit, He would remain with us always! These promises and many more were all fulfilled that day when the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles. They had no idea that the Christian life could be like it was, after the Holy Spirit changed them. That first Pentecost, was so essential to understanding the Apostles and our Church. The Apostles wanted every Christian to get to have that same experience. Encountering the Holy Spirit, was like turning the controls of our life over to God and really letting Him be in charge! The Holy Spirit worked through the Apostles and through the Church. That hasn’t changed. He still does. And today, as we celebrate Pentecost, the same Holy Spirit wants to work through you and me!
You see, a lot like swimming, and lifting weights, and hunting and fishing, you don’t want to do this thing that we call Catholic Christianity all by yourself. It was never meant to be done alone. The only way that we can truly be Catholic Christians is by power of the Holy Spirit. So many times, we try and try on our own. We try to be holy. We try to conquer our sins. We try to forgive and be compassionate. We try to be like Jesus Christ! And we can’t. At least, we can’t when we’re trying to do it by ourselves. It was never supposed to be us doing it all. It was always supposed to be God working in and through us! We are just the instruments. And oh how much better we are when we let God play His music through us, than when we try to play it ourselves!
And so as we come here today, we pray to be always open to the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit is always there – guiding us, helping us, inspiring us, leading us closer and closer to where God wants us to be. And yet we’ve got to cooperate with that Holy Spirit. Every day we can work with Him or we can work against Him. The choice is ours! But tell me this, who do you think is going to win out in the end? God or us? Wouldn’t you rather be on God’s team, than playing against God’s team? The Holy Spirit keeps us together as a team. Believe me, the ONLY way that our Church has survived for two-thousand years now IS the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings us together. And the Holy Spirit keeps us together. And the Holy Spirit makes sure that we are never alone and never in danger. The Holy Spirit is the best protector that we will ever have!
This is a great Feast Day! Especially for us as Catholic Christians, the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential to each one of us as individuals, and to all of us collectively as the whole Church!!! May we give thanks to God today for this incredible gift. And even more, may we employ the Holy Spirit in our lives so that we are never trying to follow Jesus Christ by ourselves!
+ May God bless us on this Great Feast, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!