Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday
June 8, 2014
by Rev. Jose Maria Cortes, F.S.C.B.

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In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

“Come, Holy Spirit, come.”

I was confirmed on Pentecost Sunday, June 7, 1987. It was a really important day in my life. The previous day, we had a confirmation retreat. Following a lecture, we had a time of silence for meditation. I left the room and sat down under a big pine tree. I was thinking about my life, listening to the wind passing through the pine needles. Suddenly, an unexpected idea came into my mind, the idea of a vocation, of becoming a priest. It was an almost imperceptible whisper, not quite an illusion. When I returned home, it was clear that something had happened. The next day, I was confirmed. I had the clear perception that something had changed in my life.

Eight years later, I was ordained a priest. This was the beginning of the journey that brought me here. When I was sixteen, I never would have thought that someday I would be a pastor in Washington, D.C.! It is unimaginable where the Holy Spirit can lead us!

In our lives, we do not have to do something special or great. The only thing required is to follow the Holy Spirit’s voice. It leads us where we would never expect to go!

We are celebrating Pentecost Sunday. Today, we commemorate the astounding event of the Pentecost. When the Apostles were in the Cenacle, a noise like a strong driving wind came from the sky. Tongues of fire appeared to them, which parted and came to rest on them, filling them with the Holy Spirit. Then they left the closed room and went to the public square to announce the good news to all the peoples!

In today’s Gospel, Jesus says: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” On the day of Pentecost, the Church was born. After the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, they were sent all over the world. The Holy Spirit gave them the energy and courage to proclaim God’s love for all humankind.

As we celebrate the solemnity of Pentecost, we are invited to become more aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit. We need to listen to the Holy Spirit’s voice. He has something to tell each one of us.

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem compares the Holy Spirit to water. The same water produces different fruits, depending on the kind of plant that is watered. The gift of the Sprit makes our lives really fruitful.

We need to pray incessantly for the gift of the Holy Spirit: “Come, Holy Spirit, come!” The coming of the Holy Spirit changes the courses of our lives, setting us on previously unimagined trajectories.

We need to create silence in our hearts in order to hear the whisperings of the Spirit. Then our lives will certainly be different.

The Holy Spirit is surprise, the unforeseen, newness, light, color, and harmony. It is able to renew everyone and everything.

The Holy Spirit is always present as an inexhaustible source of gifts. However, the manifestation of the Holy Spirit depends on the desires of our hearts. Intense prayer of those gathered in the Cenacle preceded the Pentecost. The Apostles were ardently desiring and asking for the One promised by Jesus: “All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus.”

With Mary’s intercession, let us ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit, come! Come to renew in us the gift of the faith, come to renew your Church, come to give us the enthusiasm to evangelize our society. Come with your gifts. Give us the grace to experience your fruits. Come, Holy Spirit, come!

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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