24th May, Pentecost Year B.

On Pentecost Sunday we celebrate the coming of the Spirit on the apostles. It was their confirmation as it were, when their faith was strengthened and they were empowered to go out to establish and spread the church. All of us received the same spirit at our confirmation. Lets confess any ways we fail to live it in action.

Today is the feast of Pentecost when the church was launched. Its right we celebrate it on the eve of summer, for the coming of God’s Holy Spirit was a new summer for the world. For the third person of the Trinity is the key to goodness in Christian life, the church and the world. But what do we mean by the Holy Spirit? Well, he is best seen in the good aspects of a person, a home, or a country. I once had an audience with with John Paul 11. As he entered a good charism enveloped us. That’s true of people we meet every day, they radiate warmth and goodness. Thats the Holy Spirit. He resides in all thats individual and best in the world. But a contrary negative spirit can also possess people. For example, and I hope I’m wrong, I sense a colder spirit evolving in our country today. Is the spirit of the world, and Satan its lord, taking over, in harder, secular, atheistic values. When the Holy Spirit goes out the window, so does our humanity. Certainly the church is feeling a cold wind blowing at present; mass attendance falling, attacks multiplying from a secular media and government. In this climate we who love Christ could lose heart.
The feast we celebrate today should snap us out of any such tendency. Its a sign of eternal hope. Christ, ascending to the Father, became universal Lord. From his throne he sent the Spirit so that through is power we’d go out and “teach all nations”. He guarantees the church’s triumph, for as Advocate, He defends it before the world’s court, all that fights against God and his Christ. So lets have no fear, in the Spirit all will be well.
He constantly gains the victory for God’s true people. Just as he sustained the early church in the midst of bitter opposition. The apostles were all killed. Yet, despite this, the power and joy of the spirit enabled them to found the church and begin its universal mission. So, though the apostles were brokenhearted when Christ ascended, they knew he’d to go. So that the Spirit could come, the church be born and its mission by His power.
Hence, Paul says that where sin abounds grace abounds even more now. This easter adults were baptised in churches from China to Ireland. So the Spirit still thrives despite ceaseles efforts to snuff him out. He is why the church has seen off 1000’s of opposing worldly ideologies through time. They faded, but it continued to thrive in the timeless grace of Christ’s Spirit.
But the greater mystery is that he needs our human help for the final triumph of God. “My vows to the lord I will fulfil befroe all this people”, the psalm say. At baptism and confirmation we vowed to be his lights to a spiritually floundering world. Lets do so. Aided by personal prayer, the mass, the sacraments and living love lets bring His golden light and saving grace to all. For all else fades to dust and ashes at last, only fools put their trust in the godless spirit of the world and its empty passing values. For only in Christ’s Spirit can we grow within in the wisdom, love, goodness, peace and salvation that brings overflowing happiness here and peace forever and ever, amen.
So as God’s people, spreading faith and goodness throughout our world in the power of the Holy Spirit given to us, lets proclaim our glorious faith with new enthusiasm this Pentecost….

Prayers of the faithful
For our holy father the Pope, and the bishops of the church; like the apostles at Pentecost, may they fearlessly preach the Good news and bring all to the saving arms of the Risen lord..

For civil leaders that they may not be so carried way by the hard spirit of the world, so as to hinder the spiritual welfare of the people they serve…

For our youth that having been filled with the Holy Spirit at their Confirmation when they vowed to practice and spread the faith, they may do so and be a true light of God to our world..

For ourselves in our homes, workplaces and communities that we may be apostles for Christ and radiate the Holy Spirit’s light of faith to all we care for or come into contact with..

For the sick, the aged, the lonely and the needy in spirit, body or mind that through our care they may know the love of God..

For the dead that they may be raised up in the Spirit to heavenly bliss through their goodness and faithfulness here, and our continuing prayers for them as the powerful assembled faithful..

We ask these prayers of the father through Christ in the Spirit who is with us as the people of God, forever and ever, amen.

Its amazing how the Spirit in certain saints come down to us and inspire us after thousands of years. People like St.Patrick or Francis or Brendan. The reason, I think, is because they radiated the Spirit who is timeless and whose effects go on and on. We all leave a spiritual legacy of good or ill when we die. Lets pray to Mother Mary, the greatest of the saints who totally lived in the Spirit, that she will help us, despite natural failings that keep us humble, to leave an overall Christian Spirit of faith, kindness and goodness to those who come after us..Hail Mary