Solemnity of Pentecost (Cycle A, Year I)
June 4, 2017
The gifts of the Holy Spirit strengthen our commitment to serve God.
We are strengthened by the gifts of the Holy Spirit when we forgive others unconditionally.
“Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them.” (Jn 20:23a)
On the Solemnity of Pentecost, we celebrate what is often referred to as the birth of the Church. It marks the fulfillment of promise of Jesus Christ to send the Holy Spirit after He returns to the Father. It commemorates the baptism of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles whom Jesus commanded to spread the Kingdom of God to the ends of the earth. In Acts 2:1-4, we read the narration of first Pentecost event: “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.”
On that day, the Spirit of Truth transformed the apostles. As the Paraclete and Counselor, the Holy Spirit taught them everything and reminded them of all that Jesus told them. From then on, they began to evangelize with authority and boldness.
Like the apostles and other followers of Jesus on that first Pentecost, we too received the Holy Spirit and His many gifts when we were baptized in the Spirit during our Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS). The presence of the Holy Spirit within us is the most wonderful thing that could ever happen to us, for the Holy Spirit is God Himself, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. However, our baptism in the Spirit was not the first time we received the Holy Spirit. We first received Him when we were baptized sacramentally as babies. As adults, the gifts of the Spirit come to life and are stirred up into action when we undergo the baptism of the Spirit experience.
The experience of baptism in the Spirit is not the same for everyone. Some remember extraordinary visions and gift of tears which cleanse memories of past hurts resulting in inner healing and healing of broken relationships. Others would have a very quiet, seemingly uneventful baptism. It does not matter. What matters is that the Holy Spirit will never withhold the gift of Himself to the LSS participant who is seriously seeking Him and has sincerely opened his heart to God. In preparing for this great event, prospective LSS participants are encouraged to be in the state of grace and to have repented of their sins. They are advised to listen and heed their shepherds’ exhortation on forgiveness to remove every possible obstacle because the Holy Spirit cannot descend on souls burdened by sin and unforgiveness, anxieties, and worldly concerns.
Numerous Life in the Spirit Seminars are held year-round in many churches and communities especially around this time of the feast of Pentecost. As many gifts as there will be bestowed upon the participants, all will be for nothing without the greatest gift of all – the gift of love. In order to actualize and experience the gifts, it is essential to function as one body of Christ. We are united as one body when we serve each other with love, respect and humility. Only then can we experience the fullness of gifts received from the Holy Spirit.
Receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit is consequential to our declaration of faith that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, receiving the peace that only He can give. It is the Holy Spirit who empowers us to be instruments of peace and reconciliation among men, have the authority to forgive and unshackle them from the bondage of resentment and sin.
On Pentecost day and for the rest of our days, as followers of Christ, we carry with us this powerful promise: “whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,” (Jn 20:23a). And when we go to mission to spread the Good News, we receive the peace of Jesus in our hearts and bring that same peace to the hearts of as many people we are able to reach, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
“Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.”
- What gifts of the Holy Spirit do you put to good use in your family and community life?
- What single obstacle in your heart prevents you from exercising your spiritual gifts for the good of others?
Let us pray for peace for our country and be willing to give and accept forgiveness, that we may experience Christ’s peace in our lives.
This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
June 4, 2017 (Sun) – Acts 2:1-11/ Ps 104:1, 24, 31, 34, 29-30/ 1Cor 12:3-7.12, 13/ Jn 20:19-23
June 5, 2017(Mon) – Tb 1:3; 2:1-8/ Ps 112:1-2, 3-4, 5-6/ Mk 12:1-12
June 6, 2017(Tues) – Tb 2:9-14/ Ps 112:1-2, 7-9/ Mk 12:13-17
June 7, 2017(Wed) – Tb 3:1-11, 16, 17/ Ps 25:2-9/ Mk 12:18-27
June 8, 2017 (Thur) – Tb 6:10-11, 7:1, 9-17; 8:4-9/ Ps 128:1-5/ Mk 12:28-34
June 9, 2017 (Fri) – Tb 11:5-17/ Ps 146:1, 2, 7-10/ Mk 12:15-17
June 10, 2017 (Sat) – Tb 12:1, 5-15, 20/ Tb 13:2, 6-8/ Mk 12:38-44
“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”