Matthew 28:16-20 Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord May 21, 2023 “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
May 20, 2023
John 3:16-18 Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity June 4, 2023 Acclamation before the Gospel (cf Rv 1:8) ℟. Alleluia, alleluia. Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; to God who is, who was, and who is to come. Alleluia, alleluia.
June 2, 2023

John 20:19-23 Solemnity of the Pentecost May 28, 2023 As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Solemnity of the Pentecost
Acts 2:1-11
1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13
John 20:19-23

A. Text/Context
• Today, we are celebrating the Solemnity of the Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit came down upon the apostles
• In the Holy Scriptures, the Holy Spirit is represented by the sign of the dove because of its calmness, peacefulness, and gentleness
• Remember the event when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan, a dove came down upon him
• In the 1st reading in the Acts of the Apostles about the year 30 to 31 A.D., during the Feast of the Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is represented by tongues of fire and the disciples began to speak in different languages and on that day many were converted to Christianity
• In the gospel of John today, the Holy Spirit is represented by the breath of life which Jesus gave to the disciples
• Jesus breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit, and so the Holy Spirit is also symbolized by a breath of life as also symbolized by the power of the forgiveness of sins
• And so the Holy Spirit means a new life in God, a life with God because a transgression is forgiven which leads the person back to God
• The Holy Spirit as what Jesus has promised will accompany us until the end of time
• The Holy Spirit is our guide so that even if we are all alone, we will not be lost
• Now the crucial question is this? How do we know in the very ordinary rhythm of our life the presence of the Holy Spirit among us? How does the Holy Spirit operate and work in our daily life as Christians?
• It is very clear in the gospel that one of the signs of the presence of the Holy Spirit is the forgiveness of sins
• And because of the presence of the Holy Spirit the forgiveness of sin is made possible

B. Human Situation
• We are given the strength and the courage to forgive the wrongs that others have done to us because of the presence of the HS. We grant forgiveness because of the presence of the HS
• And also the other way around. We are also given the strength to ask for forgiveness for all the wrongs that we do to others because of the presence of the HS
• So the HS works both ways, to inspire the person to ask for forgiveness and grant forgiveness at the same time
• For true enough, a person whose life is in harmony with the spirit of the Lord is a person who does not bear any hatred towards his neighbor so that the act of forgiveness comes naturally from his heart
• The grace of the Holy Spirit cannot work without our human counterpart and that is cooperation
• If we do not cooperate with the Holy Spirit, the grace of it cannot work in our life
• If we go back to the 1st reading how did the conversion of thousands of people happen?
• The disciples were in Jerusalem and they are preaching with the salvo of the full inspiration of the Holy Spirit
• And the people around them, they hear the commotion, and they listened, and at first they were confused asking who are these people, but they continue to listen and cooperate, and later on they all understood and they were all converted to Christianity by the thousands
• The part that we have to do is to cooperate and that is to listen to the promptings of the spirit
• So they cooperated with the grace of the presence of the HS by listening and by cooperation the HS takes over and the miracle of conversion takes place
• This is always the way that God acts in our life as Christians
• God would send messengers in the form of people that we know, situations, happenings, events in order to remind us of what we are to do
• God would give us opportunities to allow us to cooperate and listen to the promptings of the Spirit and conversion follows
• And once we listen and cooperate, the Holy Spirit takes possession of our life and miracles will happen in our lives
• And every time that the Holy Spirit is received, it brings with Him the many gifts of God to all of us for our own good
• As baptized Christians, we already received the Holy Spirit during the sacrament of baptism a long time ago
• Then we had the fullness of the HS when we received Sacrament of Confirmation
• The only problem is that for most of us we do not make the HS active in our day to day life
• We are only celebrating today the memorial of the Pentecost but the HS is already poured to every Christian during the reception of the sacrament of baptism and confirmation
• The Catholic Church defines the gift of the HS and there are seven
• In the Hebrew text of Isaiah we have the gift of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, and fear of God. The Septuagint and the Vulgate added piety
• The reason why every person is always unique because the gift is only given to him or her
• You do not need to memorize them because every person has a unique gift that God has given him or her
• The seven gifts are interpreted as graces given to Christians through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit
• When the disciples received the HS they speak in different languages similar to the charismatics, they become very courageous even if they know that they will soon be killed, still, nobody can stop them from propagating the kingdom of God

C. Challenge
• This is the challenge that the Solemnity of the Pentecost is giving us, that we must recognize and be grateful to the presence of the HS in our daily life
• The HS is the 3rd person in the Holy Trinity coming after the Father and the Son
• We are challenged to listen to the promptings and inspiration of the HS as we feel it deep in our heart in our prayers and we also feel it through the people surrounding us because God also distributes the gift of wisdom to everyone
• But most especially we have to make use of the presence of the HS to grant us the daily conversion of our lives
• That as we listen to the inspiration it will move us towards forgiveness and reconciliation and we will all be given the virtue to love God above all and love our neighbors wholeheartedly as we love ourselves

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John 20 verse 19-23 Pentecost

John 20 verse 19-23 Pentecost

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