May 23, 2021— Pentecost Sunday (Mass During the Day)
ACTS 2:1-11; PS 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34; 1 COR 12:3b-7, 12-13; JN 20:19-23
Our Easter season culminates with the glorious feast of Pentecost. Meaning “fifty,” Pentecost is the day the Holy Spirit descended on Mary and the apostles in the form of tongues of fire fifty days after Easter. We also celebrate this day as the birthday of the Church, for shortly after this event, St. Peter preached his first homily.
We can imagine how incredible that moment was for the apostles and all who witnessed it. The Holy Spirit was alive and working.
The Holy Spirit is just as alive and willing to work here and now in our day-to-day moments as back at our first Pentecost. It is our call as Christian disciples to be attentive and open to these workings. By the power of the Holy Spirit, God is in us and always around us — yet, we must call upon His name, seek His guidance and become aware of His presence in our lives.
Our First Reading bears witness to the first Pentecost. During this encounter with the Holy Spirit, the apostles and Mary felt a driving wind, there were tongues of fire on the heads of each of them and the Spirit allowed them to speak in different tongues proclaiming acts of God.
We might hear this reading and wish the Holy Spirit worked that obviously in our lives each day. The truth is, the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is obvious, we just might be blind to it, or it might be that we have closed ourselves off to the Holy Spirit’s wonderous works.
Our tongues of fire might be a profound conversation with a friend, something that you needed to hear in that exact moment; or a pushed-back deadline at work when you were swamped; or a moment of strength to speak the truth when you typically shy away; or even a closed door to an opportunity for something much, much greater. These are movements of the Holy Spirit in our everyday moments.
The more we take time to recognize them, the more we become aware of them. So, at the close of each day, try examining how the day went. Search for the moments where you witnessed the Holy Spirit working in your daily life and the life of your family and friends.
In our Second Reading, St. Paul reminds us of our unique role as Christian stewards as he says, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord… To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.”
Each one of us has been given unique gifts from the Holy Spirit. No two stewards are the same. Some of us might be confident in those gifts and some of us might not know what they are just yet. When we discover them and use them for God’s work, they are multiplied beyond what we could have imagined. It is our job to look inward and pray, “Come Holy Spirit, reveal my gifts to me so that I may use them for Your glory.”
And when we live a life attentive to the Spirit’s workings and gifts, we can better live out Jesus’ call in our Gospel today, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” As disciples of Christ, we are sent out to gather more disciples. If we are constantly striving to be in tune with the Holy Spirit, God will do the rest by showing us the way.
On this Pentecost Sunday, let us give thanks to God for sending us His Holy Spirit. Let us strive to be in tune with the Holy Spirit by looking for the ways God has been working in our lives and let us ask for the grace to know our gifts and talents so that we can put them to good use.