Fr. Bart's Homily for Pentecost Sunday, May 31

He will not leave them alone. God becomes our constant companion.

To appreciate the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel, we have to get in touch with the situation. This takes place at the Last Supper and Jesus has just explained to his Apostles that he will be leaving and will return to His Father. He recognizes that this is very upsetting to them; after all, they have left everything to follow him!

He gives them some exciting news. Even though he is leaving them, he will not leave them alone. Once back in heaven, he will be able to stay even closer to them because he and his Father will send them an advocate, the “Paraclete” – the Holy Spirit.

This Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity. He is the love between the Father and Son lived so intensely that he is a person himself! When we were baptized, that same spirit takes up residence within our souls and brings Jesus and God the Father along with him. The influence and action of the Holy Spirit in our lives increases when we are confirmed. Through the Incarnation, Emmanuel, God was among us but now God is within us, a guest in our souls, a guide for our life’s journey. This is what we celebrate today, on Pentecost. God becomes our constant companion in life! What a wonderful gift!

Our hearts yearn for this. We are “hard-wired” for friendship, especially one that is not limited by space and time. We yearn to be known and loved completely, unconditionally, and all the time. This deep human need is shown in the way digital communications technology is being used today. The most used Web sites are the ones where friends share thoughts, pictures, videos and conversations. Consider how we keep in touch with one another, how we have reconnected with one another. We are using it right now as we stream our liturgy this morning! We can’t be together physically but we connect through the internet. Look at how we use our computers and cell phones to connect with one another. We want to know that we are not alone. 

Although the internet and our cell phones can break down the limits of time and space, God can break down spiritual limits. Only God can really meet this need for connectedness and to be loved. We are asked to stay online with the Holy Spirit. It calls for constant maintenance and effort; after all, it is a relationship. You are working on this right now by “tuning in” to this livestreaming of our Mass. You yearn for connectedness with your parish community and, most importantly, with your God. The Holy Spirit, God’s Love, is very active and present at this moment.

Pentecost Sunday - Holy Spirit descends on Mary and the ApostlesWe celebrate Pentecost Sunday, the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus, filling them with God’s love and presence and animating them to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We, too, are called to experience his Presence and Love today. The Holy Trinity has become our constant companion through the Holy Spirit, which we received through our baptism and conformation. We are not alone!

– Fr. Bart

Tags: Pentecost homily, Fr. Bart

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