Blessed Sacrament Parish
Amherstview, Ontario

Saint Linus
Bath, Ontario

Saint Bartholomew
Amherst Island, Ontario
Homilies from Fr. Americo Santos

Homily: Pentecost

May 19, 2024

Today is Pentecost Sunday, marking the end of the Easter Season and the beginning of the Church's missionary work as the universal Institution of God. It's a day of renewal and empowerment for all believers as we celebrate the fulfillment of Christ's promise to send the Holy Spirit.

The first reading describes how the Holy Spirit comes upon the Apostles and the Church, represented by people from different nations. We see here how The Church, through the Holy Spirit, begins its mission of spreading the good news of Jesus everywhere. This passage illustrates how the Holy Spirit empowers Christians to be instruments of salvation for others.

In the second reading, Paul emphasizes that it is through the Holy Spirit that we can recognize and accept the Lordship of Christ. Saint Paul also describes that all of us have received the manifestation of the Holy Spirit through His gifts and by engaging in activities to build one Body as a community. We are part of one Body with Christ as the head because we have been baptized in only one Spirit.

In the Gospel, Jesus pours out the Holy Spirit upon His disciples to bring them peace and free them from fear. The Spirit they receive is not one of fear but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Tim 1:7). According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Holy Spirit empowers us, making us strong Christians and soldiers of Christ (CCC 1302). This empowerment comes through the gifts we receive from the Holy Spirit, enabling us to call God our Father and proclaim Jesus Christ as our Lord.

Today, we must ask ourselves, "What does the Holy Spirit want me to do? Where is He leading me?" It is crucial to reflect on these questions, particularly in today's complex world. We must heed the Holy Spirit and allow Him to guide us through life's challenges and complexities. We must listen to the Holy Spirit to understand the direction He wants to lead us. If we walk with the Holy Spirit daily, we can navigate life without confusion.

Another significant point to reflect on this Sunday is that the impact of the Holy Spirit at the first Pentecost was to create unity. The event of people understanding different languages in the first reading should not be taken literally; rather, it signifies that the Spirit of God can overcome deep divisions among people. The gifts of the Spirit are meant to foster profound unity in families, friendships, relationships, and communities. The effects of divisions can lead to murders, violence, and wars. No wonder Jesus prayed so often for unity; His Spirit was His source. Disagreements may occur in the best of relationships, but with the Holy Spirit, these disagreements quickly end in peace. Divisions never lead to peace and are never from God.

Brothers and sisters, let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us always live in unity and guide us in this life toward eternal happiness. Amen.

Peace be with you.