Homily Solemnity of Pentecost Year A Lordship of Jesus and the Spirit

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Homily Solemnity of Pentecost Year A

Reading 1: Something has happened to the disciples prior to the coming of the Holy Spirit. Their relationship with Jesus had changed. The initial encounter with Jesus was no longer the most important or that which made the significant difference in their lives. That initial encounter and the subsequent encounters were foundational but not necessarily lasting. They knew Jesus on their terms. They followed Jesus conditionally, as long as things went well and did not cost them. But when Jesus tested the strength of their commitment, they failed the test.

It was the encounter with the Risen Christ that solidified their relationship and enabled them to receive the outpouring of the Spirit. As a result, they were changed. Not just interiorly but exteriorly as well. No longer afraid, they were courageous. No longer afraid of the reactions of others, they yielded to the lead of the Holy Spirit.

Pentecost for them was the fulfillment of the promises made by Jesus to baptize them in the Holy Spirit with power. For ten days after Jesus’ ascension, they prayed, recalled their life-experience as disciples under Jesus. They repented of their sins. They waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit as Jesus had told them. Now, on Pentecost, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began proclaiming God’s mighty deeds in various tongues. From fearful men, they were transformed into zealot witnesses for Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Gospel: In hearing again, today, the Easter appearance of Jesus to the Apostles, the Church is helping us to see the connection of Pentecost with Easter.  On Easter Jesus encounters them, not as the man from Nazareth, not as prophet, teacher or healer. That relationship with Jesus is no longer sufficient. He is the Risen Savior and Lord, the Son of God, True God and True Man. It is this new encounter which seals his relationship with the disciples.

Extending his peace was to validate his forgiveness of their unbelief and their human reaction to his death on the cross. His commission is straightforward. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  As the Father had sent Jesus to proclaim and to witness, to evangelize and teach with signs and wonders as his credentials, so Jesus was sending the disciples to do the same.  As Jesus, at his baptism, received a fresh release of the power of the Holy Spirit, so he imparts to them that same gift.

What John is teaching us in his Gospel is that the Pascal Mystery, begun in the Incarnation of the Son of God as Man, culminated in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Church. To believe in the Resurrection of Jesus entails openness to the presence, plan and power of the Holy Spirit. To live fully in the resurrected life of Jesus in the present moment is to be open and respond to the gift of the Holy Spirit and his lead in our lives.

Reading 2: Jesus is Lord. The greater Jesus is the Lord of our lives in fact, the greater openness we will have to the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. The Lordship of Jesus is at the heart of our call to be holy and to grow in holiness, which can only be done in the Holy Spirit.

The Lordship of Jesus leads one to step out of the comfort zone of life into the waters of trust in the words of Jesus, acting in his name. The Lordship of Jesus brings us into community with one another. The bond of that unity is the Holy Spirit. To be of one mind and one heart can only take place if Jesus is our Lord and if we are living in the Sprit.

Being open to the various gifts of the Spirit enables us to proclaim Jesus as Lord as we follow the lead of the Spirit.

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