St. Augustine Catholic Church
Sunday, May 23, 2021
Come, Holy Spirit, and fill the hearts of the faithful
and kindle in them the fire of thy love.
Send forth thy Spirit and they shall be created,
and they shall renew the face of the earth.
My Brothers and Sisters,
Today we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost Sunday which always takes place 50 days after the Feast of Easter. That is to say, it’s already fifty days since Easter passed. (See how time flies!) Last Sunday, we celebrated Ascension Sunday. We recall that in the days before that Sunday, the Apostles were seemingly unhappy that their Master, Jesus, was leaving them. But Jesus promised them that it was necessary that He go but He would send them the Holy Spirit who would be with them forever and would teach them all things. It was that promise that He made that He fulfilled on a day like this.
The first reading of this mass tells us everything exactly as it happened. That, as the Apostles were together, they saw over the heads of each person what looked like parted tongues of fire. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to preach as the Holy Spirit gave them the power to speak. What was amazing was that many different nations, who were in Jerusalem on that occasion, each heard the Apostles in their own mother tongue. They were amazed and began to ask, “Are these people not Galileans? Then how is it that we are able to hear them in our own language?” They concluded that it is the wondrous works of God. Theologians called the Day Pentecost, the day the Church was born to spread the message of Salvation to all nations.
What can we say are the gifts of the Holy Spirit: They are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and the Fear of the Lord. These gifts are the power of God given to us both as individuals and also to the Church as an institution to enable it to become powerful and holy in its characteristics, such as in prayer and the Sacraments. St. Paul added in his epistle to the Galatians, FAITHFULNESS and SELF-CONTROL. If these gifts are effective in our lives, we will be able to overcome their contrasts in our Christian living.