Solemnity of Pentecost – B

24 May 2015

Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio
His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič

Acts 2:1-11; 1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13; Jn 20:19-23

Today we celebrate Pentecost, which commemorates the day when the Lord, fifty days after his resurrection, sent the Holy Spirit upon his apostles and thereby empowered them to continue his mission in the world and become his witnesses. This solemnity brings to a conclusion the Easter season. It also recalls the final act of the Lord and the birth of the community of faithful, which from that time onward is called the Church. The arrival of the Holy Spirit marked the beginning of the Church and its mission in the world, which is the proclamation of the message of the Good News of salvation of Jesus Christ to all of mankind, which is accomplished through our words and example.

The solemnity of Pentecost confirms that Christ needs the Church. One of the mysteries of the Church’s mission is in the fact that holy and perfect God has entrusted his mission of salvation to imperfect and sinful people. Christ, as in the beginning with the first disciples, even today needs our hands to do his work, our voices to proclaim and teach, to encourage and comfort. He needs our talents and gifts in order to use them for the glory of God and the salvation of mankind. Christ we can say, is dependent on the Church to continue his work. God created us without us, but he does not save us without our free cooperation. His invitation is full of trust and loving expectation, which requires our free consent, our acceptance of his offer to live a new life, guided by the Holy Spirit. A life of hope and responsibility, in joyful service, as beloved sons and daughters of God.

The Holy Spirit has also been given to us for we are all members of the family of faith known as the Church. We received it already at our baptism and later on when we were confirmed with holy chrism. Yet these events were not meant to be limited to a single day of our lives. All of us are called to continue to work with the Spirit of God in order to experience his presence in our lives as the Spirit of love and truth, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and fortitude, the Spirit of knowledge and piety, the Spirit of the fear of the Lord. The Spirit never comes into our lives by force, but patiently waits for us to seek him in the depths of our hearts. It is important therefore, to find time every day for silent prayer, despite the hustle and bustle of life, in order to ask the Lord to enrich us with the many gifts of his Spirit that provide us with the light and peace of his presence in us.

Indeed it is the Holy Spirit that gives life, even when we are tired of life and worried. Even when we might think that life is impossible, that only violence, injustice and evil can prosper in this world, when nothing good seems to succeed, it is the Holy Spirit who brings us back to God and reminds us of his presence in the Church and within us, as well as of the eternity that awaits those who believe. We therefore pray today and everyday with our whole hearts: We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. Amen!

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