Acts: 2:1-11
Psalm: 104
1 Corinthians 12.3b – 7, 12 – 13
John 20: 19-23
This is a day of joy for us. Pentecost Sunday and the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is a beautiful
solemnity in the liturgy of the Church and it is the conclusion of the Easter season. As we
heard today in our readings, the Church is born on Pentecost. So today, as we kind of like to
say — today we celebrate the “birthday” of the Church. The Church is born in the words of
Jesus, breathing his Spirit into his apostles and sending them out to preach peace and
forgiveness. 
The Church is born in the tongues of fire and the driving wind that send the apostles out into
the streets to proclaim God’s mighty works. But at the same time, we cannot forget that
Pentecost is something personal. The words that we heard in the Gospel this morning are
personal. Jesus is talking to the apostles, but he is also talking to us — to you and to me. So he
says to us: Peace be with you. 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.’

As we know, St. Paul says that we are temples the Holy Spirit.  And it is true! So this feast
day, today, calls us to remember this beautiful truth — Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit. But
the question we need to ask ourselves is: How well do we know the Holy Spirit who is
dwelling within us? How well do I know the Holy Spirit?

And I really think that this is a great need that we have in the Church, and a great need that we
have in our own spiritual lives. We really need to get to know the Holy Spirit! As a friend, as
a companion on our journey of faith. Because the Holy Spirit as we know is God the Father’s
gift to us. But why is he giving us this gift? The only reason for which God is giving us this
gift is because he loves us and he wants to be united with us. So the Holy Spirit is like our
“life-line” — he is the bond of love that unites us to God. The Holy Spirit, as we know, is the
Spirit of love. And love creates communion — it joins us to the One we love.
The Holy Spirit speaks words of truth in our hearts — words of love. The words of Jesus
Christ. In the tradition of the Church, as we know, the Holy Spirit is known as a teacher, a
counselor, a tutor who guides us and gives us advice.

The saints say that the Spirit sends us his “inspirations.” And they are like feelings about —
like suggestions, like ways in which we can do things it is inspirations about what we should
do, how we should think, and how we should act. When we think of our own spiritual lives
— when we think of the needs of the Church — there is no doubt that we need the inspirations
of the Holy Spirit. The help of the Holy Spirit to be able to make the right decisions and really
try to strive for holiness.
It’s one of the things that I usually say to the young men and women that receive the
Sacrament of Confirmation. That the Holy Spirit is the one who is going help them to make
the right decisions in life. But the challenge for all of us is really to listen to the inspirations of
the Holy Spirit. When we think about it, it’s really amazing that God loves us so much that he
wants to be with us through the inspirations of the Holy Spirit in a special way.
So think about it. God is giving you — he’s giving me — the Holy Spirit. God is talking to
you — he’s talking to me — through those inspirations of Holy Spirit. He’s trying to help us
really grow as a human person, as a Christian, in our spiritual life.
And I would say, that really listening to the Holy Spirit is the key to be able to grow in our
Christian life. So that’s why we need to be more and more aware of the presence of the Holy
Spirit in our lives. That’s why we need to be more attentive, more sensitive, to those
inspirations of the Holy Spirit.
They’re not going to come like with the apostles — with fire and with wind — it’s going to
come in a simple, ordinary way. Like an allergy. This is the time of allergies, isn’t it? But we
need to be very sensitive to everything that the Holy Spirit is trying to do with us. And then, of
course, we can find ways in which we can especially stop and try to listen to the Holy Spirit.
I, personally, try to dedicate Sundays to meditate on the Holy Spirit. Or at least to pray a
prayer to the Holy Spirit. That’s right, I try to be more attentive to what the Holy Spirit is
telling me. Maybe that beautiful prayer that we were singing in the Responsorial Psalm:
“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love” Or
even just saying, “Come, Holy Spirit.” That will help us to really pay more attention to those
inspirations of the Holy Spirit.
So that’s the first kind of lesson for this beautiful solemnity. But then, at the same time, the
other lesson is to remember that Jesus is sending us out today. Just like the apostles went out
on Pentecost day, Jesus is sending us to be instruments of his Spirit. As we see in the Gospel
today, Jesus gives his Spirit to the Church and he gives the Church the mission of spreading
the gifts of the Holy Spirit — the gifts of God’s mercy and forgiveness.

In the first reading of today’s Mass, we see that at Pentecost, the apostles and the Virgin Mary
were hiding behind locked doors. They were afraid of what would happen if the authorities
came and knocked on the door. When the Spirit came — suddenly they were given courage
and confidence. No more fear! So they were out in the streets proclaiming Jesus and God’s
mighty deeds.
We are supposed to have some contact with other people who have experienced the power of
God at work in their lives. One of the great successes of Alcoholics Anonymous is to make
people aware once again that there is a power greater than themselves. If someone were to ask
any one of us personally: what has God done in your life? How would we answer?
Many people in our time have come to recognize the list of Saint Paul, which tells us the
works of the flesh, as a list of possible addictions in our lives: immorality, impurity, lust,
idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions,
factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. Whether we look on these
actions as possible addictions or not, we can recognize that actions such as these deeply
damage the human capacity of personal relationship.
Saint Paul tells us that those who live in the Spirit have crucified the flesh with its passions
and desires. This is very strong language, but also reflects the reality of trying to live good
lives. What does it mean to crucify the flesh? This is an image taken directly from the
suffering of Christ: am I will to give my life for another person? Am I will to fight in myself
all that puts me against others? Am I will to strive to do good, even when doing that good will
take a lot of my energy and perhaps not help me directly at all?
Always there are people who are living by the Spirit. They are not necessarily Catholics and
sometimes not even Christians! They are people who strive to love others and give their lives
in love for others. For me, I must be Catholic and that is how I find the expression of my love
in Christ Jesus. I am called to respect all who live in the Spirit and to encourage everyone I
meet to live in the Spirit of God.
Today, on the day we celebrate Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, we can pray that we
might have the courage to tell one other person what God has done in our lives. We can pray
that we might have the courage to give our own lives for others. And we can ask that the Holy
Spirit would be poured out on our world to bring peace and reconciliation. 
 My dear brothers and sisters, it is our duty to continue this mission. We need to proclaim
God’s love, speaking from the love that is in our hearts. We cannot rest until God’s love is
burning in every heart.

So on this beautiful solemnity of Pentecost, let us ask Jesus — to once more send his Holy
Spirit into our hearts. Let us try to be more attentive to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. And
let us try to renew our apostolic mission — our mission to help people discover the love of
God through the action of the Holy Spirit. And let us stay close to our Blessed Mother Mary.
Just like Jesus did and the apostles did.
And let us pray that united to her, and with her intercession, we may set the world on fire with
the love of God.
God bless!