Pentecost Sunday - June 9, 2019
What is Pentecost? Pentecost is the day we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, 50 days after the resurrection of Christ, on the ancient Jewish festival called the “feast of weeks” or Pentecost. In Greek, Pentecost means “the fiftieth” (day after Easter).
By the power of the Holy Spirit the Church was born and we are now to do what the death and resurrection of Jesus was all about: love and forgive. The Holy Spirit gives us power to be witnesses for Jesus. The Holy Spirit gave the Apostles the ability to speak in different languages, to heal people, drive out demons, forgive people their sins and even to raise the dead just as Jesus had done. The first reading today from the Acts of the Apostles relates the experience of the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and their miraculous ability to speak to many people who spoke many different languages at the same time and each would hear his own spoken language from the mouths of the Apostles. Very HIGH TECH translation in real time! They used these gifts of the Holy Spirit to spread the Gospel throughout the lands and bring more people to Jesus.
The Gospel is the account of Jesus’ visit to the Apostles in the locked room after He was resurrected. Jesus says, “Peace be with you! As God has sent me to you, now I am sending you to others. Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven…” Focus on what Jesus is saying here…the Apostles were empowered to do the work of Jesus, forgive sins. This is very important. What is the point of Jesus’ suffering and dying on the cross in the first place? Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice, the sacrifice that puts an end to all other sacrifices, for the forgiveness of sins, to save all of mankind.
We have all received the Holy Spirit. We were all baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We, too, have the Holy Spirit and we, too, can do great things, not the least of which is continue to be a witness to Christ Jesus in everything we think, say, and do. God has done great things for us. We can do great things for Him.
Our Psalm this Sunday is Psalm 104 Oh Lord, Send Out Your Spirit and Renew the Face of the Earth
Have a blessed day and week, preaching the Gospel, and when necessary use words!