Feast of Pentecost

First Reading: Acts 2: 1- 7

Psalm Reading: Psalm 104

Second Reading: Romans 8: 14- 17

Gospel Reading: John 15: 20- 27

Homily by Fr. Romie Jun Peñalosa

The season of Pentecost is about celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit as promised by Jesus before His ascension. Today’s gospel however, talks about persecution. Why? One of the works that the Holy Spirit would do for us is to make us partake and share in the inheritance of Jesus. Whatever Jesus inherits from the Father, we also inherit. Second reading today talks about us being co-heirs of Christ.

But church, we need to understand that as co-heirs, we do not share or partake only of the blessings, of joy, of peace…but we also inherit the totality of the life of Christ, including His sufferings.

Christianity is not a religion for comfort. It does not offer an easy and comfortable life. It offers holiness of life! And when you begin to live a holy life, this is where the trouble starts. Why? Jesus Himself talks of the world we are living in right now, a world who hates God. Because Jesus testifies the truth about God, the world hates Him. And if the world hated Jesus, do not expect a life of honor and acceptance in a world where your master was despised and crucified.

Jesus said, “A servant is not above his master.” Meaning, whatever Christ went through in life, we are going to go through also, perhaps in different ways. We may not all be nailed and crucified, but we all have our own cross to bear every day. He also said, “That while we are in this world, we will have tribulations”. But He does not end His statement here…for He promised to send us a “Helper” to accompany us always. Jesus knew exactly how difficult life will be for us. For He himself was the first one to carry out the mission. And what is it? To go out into the world, bring the truth, and testify about how God loves the world.

In all the difficulties, in all the trials we will be going through, it is impossible for us to be alone because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our life. The Holy Spirit testifies the truth about Jesus, just as Jesus bore witness and testified the truth about God. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to always bring us to Jesus in order that we can carry out our mission. He (Holy Spirit) will immerse us and baptize us in Jesus that we may become one in the love of God. And the love of God that is in Christ will empower us to do everything and overcome whatever obstacles in doing what God us wants us to do.

The love of Christ propels us to do something beyond our capacity. The fire which descended upon the disciples is a symbolic burning of Christ’s love. And the same fire, when we keep it lit inside our heart, will keep us burning in the love of Christ and will let us do everything for the love of Christ.

We are all called for a mission. Let us not be afraid to go out and testify the truth of Jesus and the love of God for the world. We may not all have the supernatural power, nor gifts of the Holy Spirit; but we have the HOLY SPIRIT that lives and operates in our life!

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