My Seven-Minute-Homily: Pentecost Sunday, year C

Acts of the Apostles 2, 1-11; First Letter of St. Paul to Corinthians 12,3-7,12-13

And the Gospel of St. John 20, 19-23

In the first reading, the Acts of the Apostles is talking about the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples by wind, tongues and fire. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that the Holy Spirit is the Third person of the Holy Trinity. He is also called Advocate, Paraclete, Attorney. According to the Gospel, the Holy Spirit has been sent by God the Father to fulfill the work of Jesus Christ in the disciples and in the world.

The Holy Spirit made fire comes out in the heart of the disciples. Fire usually symbolized for strength, for power. Fire also gives light to show the way. The Holy Spirit gave fire to the heart of the disciples. They no longer chicken out. They no longer hide themselves behind the closed door for fear of Jewish authorities. They were strengthened by Fire. Their eyes and their mind were open to proclaim the Gospel to all the nations.

The Holy Spirit made tongues work in the disciples as well. Tongues stand for words and preaching. The disciples no longer quiet. They speak loudly and publicly of Jesus Christ who died and rose again from the dead. The grace of tongues that come from the Holy Spirit gives the disciples the skill of speaking different languages. All nations can understand what they said.

The Holy Spirit comes to the disciples with a violent wind. Wind is the move of the air. Wind sometimes is very gentle. Wind makes us cool especially in summer hot. People need a wind, the moving of air to get more fresh air. Wind can be in anywhere. Wind can get in through a very tiny hole. But wind sometimes becomes very strong, like storm, whirlwind and tornadoes. They can destroy anything on the way of moving.

With the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the mission of proclamation of the Gospel of the disciples becomes a new air. It gives life to all nations. It goes to everywhere even the hatred. And it sometimes destroys all evil power. Yes, the spread of the Gospel brings life to all nations and to a very single soul. In the Church history, the power of the Gospel converts all Roman Empire.

When I am talking about the works of the Holy Spirit, you might wonder and question that is the Holy Spirit still working like I said or he is sleeping? Because there so many bad things and evil things happening in our society, in our modern world in every single day? How come the Holy Spirit lets many young people who have no faith practicing? Many of them were baptized, confirmed and communion received. But they are so cold with the obligation of religion? Where is the fire of the Holy Spirit? Can it warm them up or not? Or the Holy Spirit has no fire anymore?

Besides we don’t see the work of tongues of the Holy Spirit around here. People talk too much about politic issues, sports, entertainment, sexuality, family life, food…Many advertised signs put up along the road show very nice picture to invite people buy all kinds of things: fast food, clothing, movie, insurance, real estates, lawyer…But not many signs speak of the Gospel. The grace of tongues seems to be just working on weekend Sunday Mass only.

If the Holy Spirit is still working with fire, tongues and wind, how come people keep killing one another, even among family members? Why the fire of the Holy Spirit did not shine the way of truth, what is good and what is bad for evildoers? Many unjust works are shown before the eyes of people. People did not speak any word against it? Most of the time they seem to accept it. A basketball player has thirty millions a year while many others have nothing to eat? The wind of the Holy Spirit seems to be very weak now. You can see many people around attack the Church, the Pope by publishing books, movies and false accusations. Why is the wind of the Holy Spirit? Why the wind did not become a windstorm or tornadoes to destroy evildoers all?

To answer for these questions, I just ask you to have a look at the Church history. Do you think that a billion and two hundred million Catholic population in the world is the result of the works of the disciples? No, this is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit made the disciples to be instruments of the evangelization. Did the disciples of Jesus get a good education or a good training for their mission? Did the disciples of Jesus get a lot of money or politic power to convert human world. No, not at all! They used to be fish men of the Sea of Galilee. Many of them did not know how to read and write. Many of them were very poor. “Master, we worked very hard during a night long but we caught nothing!” How poor they were?

When you have many questions concerned the works of the Holy Spirit, I also have some question regarding your works as well. Do we show our faith strong enough to warm up people around us? Do we speak loud enough and good enough to proclaim the Good News? Do we live as a wind of charity and love to bring life to others? When I notice that many young people neglect their practicing Catholic faith, I question myself: Do I have my part in this problem? Many times I just keep the fire, tongues and wind of the Holy Spirit just in Church on weekend Mass. I did not bring the grace of the Holy Spirit to people.

Oremus: O Lord, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to the disciples of Jesus on Pentecost Day, to the Church, to every one of us at baptism and confirmation. Make fire in our heart so that we would be warmed up for the love of God and of people. Make the grace of tongues in us so that we would eagerly proclaim the word of God. Make the wind of the Holy Spirit in us so that we would be strengthened for the Kingdom of God on earth. Amen.

Father Great Rice