HOMILY FOR PENTECOST SUNDAY YR A
THEME: LORD, SEND FORTH YOUR SPIRIT AND RENEW THE FACE OF THE EARTH
Today is Pentecost Sunday. After a period of fifty days of rejoicing over the resurrection of Christ, we have come to the definitive end of Easter Season. Pentecost is a feast which occupies a very important and prominent position in the Church’s history and liturgical calendar. This is partly because it serves as the bridge between Lenten/Easter Season and Ordinary Time of the year. And also because, it marks the beginning of the church. Today marks the actual beginning of the church’s missionary endeavor. Given this, then what we celebrate today is equally the birthday of the Holy Mother Church.
The celebration of today leaves us with a collation of points to reflect upon. But it’s important for us to note, that the core of the Pentecost event is not the sound of the violent wind nor the tongues of fire or the different tongues the Apostles spoke, but the transformation. The Lord send forth his Spirit upon the disciples and made them new creatures.
Why then the violent wind, the fire and the tongues?
There’s often a sight at the rubish dump that we tend to overlook but requires keen interest on a day like this. When rubis is set ablaze, the fire impact is often devastating. But give it some weeks and pay the same place a courtesy visit, may be after it rains. The newness and freshness will be to your wonderment. The violent wind and the fire are both transforming agents. They both represent the process of change for no change comes easy. Think of what it takes smokers and drug addicts to quit; think of what it takes you to break from bad habits; think of what it takes you to wake early in the morning during cold to either pray or study. Think of what it takes to learn something new. Violence accompanies change.
Message 1: we must be ready to discomfort and inconveniece ourselves to learn or achieve something new or walk away from our old habits
Meanwhile, the different tongues they spoke restores the unity and understanding that was lost at Babel.
Message 2: The Spirit breaks down barriers and barricades separating us from one another and creates a new united family around God’s table.
This is the essence of the change wrought by the Holy Spirit; the internal and complete transformation of the individual. When we clamour for the miraculous gifts and signs that accompany the Holy Spirit, do we know that without love these gifts are empty and meaningless (cf. 1 Cor. 13:1-13). Of what use is speaking in tongues if there’s no joy and unity among believers? Of what use is our prophesying if there’s no love among brethren? Of what use is healing, if we get well to die of hunger, witchcraftcy and fraud? Of what use, if wickedness, gossip, backbiting, unforgiveness and hatred reigns among us believers breeding discord and disunity. When we shout in Church in the name of being violent in the Spirit only to return home and defraud our neighbours, can we say we have the Spirit? Love is the language of the Spirit. And he who lives in love lives in the Spirit.
Let us then ask the Lord to sendforth his Spirit and renew the face of the earth. Amen!
Happy Pentecost Sunday!