Fr. Bob’s Homilies

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Archive for May, 2009

Homily (Pentecost – Year B)

Posted by frmac on May 30, 2009

Throughout the Easter Season, as we read from the Gospel of John, we heard Jesus promise over and over again to send the Comforter, The Spirit of Truth – The Holy Spirit. Last week we read about Jesus ‘Ascension, and how the disciples gazed heavenward, only to be chastised by two Angels (men in white robes) who asked them: “Why do you stand looking up toward heaven? I’m sure they were mystified, fearful and baffled.

This week we celebrate Pentecost. The day on which all bafflement and fear ended, and the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles. Luke tells us in Acts: “Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.”

The apostles were no longer frightened and directionless. They now began proclaiming the Good News – the same good news that Jesus proclaimed. They finally understood what His life and message were all about, and what He expected of them. They were now His hands and feet – the Body of Christ. He was no longer crucified and dead, but risen and alive, and well in them. This is the day when the Spirit founded the church and it began its mission of proclaiming the good news and overcoming the darkness. This is the mystery of the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, the Advocate, and the mystery of the same Holy Spirit that dwells in us – the church today.

Pentecost

But if are to conclude that everything will be well and good from now on we are sadly mistaken. Living in and by the Spirit is a decision that all of us need to make. We can chose to be open to God’s Spirit and God’s ways, or we can live selfishly by the flesh in the here and the now without any reference to God or love of  neighbor. Paul’s letter to the Galatians helps us evaluate and recognize where we are at in life by listing the fruits and signs of each choice. If we live by the Spirit our life will reflect love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If we live selfishly and by the flesh, our lives will reflect impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy…. and things like this.

Bishop Sylvain Lavoie of the Archdiocese of Keewatin – LePas tells this little story this week in his homily, and I think it simply reflects what the Spirit is meant to do in our lives, if we do our best to live by the Holy Spirit.

A group of tourists were visiting a huge cathedral. A little girl in the group stopped, in

contemplative silence, to look at the beautiful huge stained glass windows. The afternoon

sun was shining brightly, bathing the group in a splendid symphony of gorgeous colors.

After some time, as the group was about to leave, the little girl asked the guide, “Who are

those persons in those beautiful windows?” The guide told her that they were the saints.

That evening, as the little girl prepared for bed, she told her mom that she knew who the

saints were. “Well, who are they?” her mother wanted to know. “Saints are persons who

let the light shine through them!” was her innocent reply.

The Word of God this Sunday reminds us that God has sent the Spirit into the world to transform us in God’s love and God’s ways. We are called to the light and to bring light to the world. As we humbly gather around the altar this Sunday, celebrating Pentecost, let us give thanks for God’s faithfulness, the gifts of God Spirit, and pray for ourselves, and all God’s children everywhere, that God’s light will shine through in and though all of us.

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