HOMILY OF PENTECOST SUNDAY – YEAR B

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HOMILY OF PENTECOST SUNDAY – YEAR B 

HOMILY THEME: COME HOLY SPIRIT

BY: Fr Stephen ‘Dayo Osinkoya

Acts 2:1-11, Psalm 104, 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7. 12-13, John 20:19-23

Today we commemorate the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit, the final act of the Paschal mystery. Today, the fiftieth day after Jesus’ resurrection marks the climax of the Paschal mystery and the end of the Easter season. And so what we call the Ordinary Time of the Church’s Liturgical life begins.

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As we begin the Ordinary Time of the Church’s life, the celebration of Pentecost becomes even more significant for us as Christians –in that, just as the early Church was “officially” presented to the world after receiving the Holy Spirit, we too are reminded once again today of our duty and responsibility to live the ‘ordinary days’, our normal daily lives in bearing authentic witness to Christ in our world today. “For you did not receive the Spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of Sonship.” (Rom 8:15) 2 Tim. 1:7 tells us; “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, instead, His Spirit fills us with power…” This power, this boldness was what the disciples received. And they that were afraid and locked up in a room became fearless and bore witness to Christ before the whole world.

Hence, in the Gospel we see how the Holy Spirit impacts our lives as Christians. The risen Christ breathes on the disciples and infuses them with the Holy Spirit. Jesus breathing on the disciples indicates the beginning of the Church. As God breathed on the earth and created the first human being, in Christ, we become a new creation.

By breathing upon them he unleashes in them the power of the Spirit, who alone can bring peace and joy in this world filled with hate and terrifying woundedness. He directs them to open themselves to the gift of the Spirit that allows them to receive and give forgiveness. Forgiving sin, reconciling people with God, is the very core of the work of Christ and the Christian mission. The disciples are now the Body of Christ, the ongoing visible presence of Christ in the world. This Body will experience injuries and wounds, diseases and sickness, betrayal and disappointments, setbacks and worries… It will wander at times far from God. It will need healing and forgiveness and reconciliation. It will also try to bring the same healing and reconciliation to a broken world. For it is only through the power of forgiveness that the air can be cleared, and all can breathe in the peace for which we so long and that the Risen One desires to give.

Without the Holy Spirit the mission of proclaiming the Good news would have been impossible for us. And for us today, the mission of bearing witness to Christ in our world is one that calls for the witnesses of our lives. Being filled with the Holy Spirit involves transformation of our lives to the life of Christ. “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rom 8:8) “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit” (Gal. 5: 17). Only those who are in the Spirit can please God, because, the Holy Spirit guides the actions of believers.

As we begin the Ordinary Time of the Church’s life – by ‘Ordinary’ I don’t mean ‘the usual’ or ‘average’ but how to live out our Christian faith in our day to day lives and activities. We are invited to live out even more now a concrete manner our experience of the risen Christ, bearing witness to him in our ordinary day to day runs with the aid of the Holy Spirit, who has come to teach us and assist us in understanding more clearly the demands of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Today let us ask God to send His Spirit into our hearts. Filled with that Spirit, may we each individually make our contribution to the community to which we belong. And, as a community, may we give clear and unmistakable witness to the Truth and Love of God, revealed to us in Jesus our Lord. May the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Life, the advocate fill us, strengthens us and grant us the boldness to bear authentic witness to Christ in our world. Amen.

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