Pentecost – Fr. Dustin Collins
June 9, 2019 – 11:00am
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost which brings about the conclusion of the season of Easter. Pentecost means the “fiftieth day” for it falls on the fiftieth day since our celebration of the Resurrection. This celebration of Pentecost is also a Jewish feast for on this day they celebrate the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai.
In our account taken from the Acts of the Apostles we are instructed that “there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.” Before we get to this handing on of the Holy Spirit we were told that “suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.”
Throughout the Old Testament the presence of God is marked by powerful forces such as this be it an earthquake, burning bush, or something else which denotes the Divine Presence. The strong driving wind is the Divine Presence of God. This strong driving wind becomes the very source of these tongues of fire which come down upon the apostles. From this exchange we can say that the apostles become one through their encounter with the Holy Spirit for what they encounter is the oneness of this strong driving wind.
If we go back to the Transfiguration of our Lord we will remember Saint Peter. Here he was caught up in this glimpse into the Heavenly reality of Christ and exclaimed: “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” The issue with this response is that Saint Peter wanted this encounter to continue and did not want to go back down the mountain back into the world which was in need of the Gospel message.
I bring this account up for our encounter with God especially through the handing on of the Holy Spirit stirs us up and sends us forth into the world to live and proclaim our faith. There has been a lot of talk within the Church about the new evangelization throughout the years. The new evangelization really isn’t anything new, but instead is to bring us back to what was found alive within the confines of the early church.
We as the Pilgrim Church of Earth must realize the necessity of being stirred up by the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is never shown to us throughout the course of scripture as being a stagnant entity. Yet, so many, in their practice of faith have grown stagnant and have closed themself off from the promptings of the Holy Spirit. On this Pentecost Sunday it is my fervent hope that each of us will never impede upon the Holy Spirit, but instead will allow the Holy Spirit to animate you in your practice of faith.
In this manner we will be sent forth from here as the apostles were sent forth to proclaim the faith and to lead others in discover the truths of the Gospel. This must be a fervent community of faith which draws other souls into a encounter with the Lord, the Sacraments, and the beauty of the Gospel message. May we who receive our Blessed Lord, in the state of grace this day, be sent forth from here under the influence of the Holy Spirit to make the New Evangelization manifest in the world in which we exist.