May 20, 2018 – Year B
Readings: Acts 2:1-11 / Ps 104 / 1 Cor 12:3B-7, 12-13 / Jn 20:19-23
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
If you are not one of the millions who watched the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, at least you must have heard that there was a royal wedding that took place in Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom yesterday. The Most Reverend Michael Curry, who gave the sermon at the ceremony, quoted a Roman Catholic priest, the late Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, whom he considered one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century.
Father de Chardin suggested that the discovery and harnessing of fire was one of the great technological discoveries of human history. He added that, if human beings ever harnessed the energies of love, for the second time in history of the world we would have discovered fire. For love is the very fire and energy of life.
Today, as we celebrate the feast of Pentecost, our holy Mother Church reminds us of the fire of God’s love. In the first reading, which is taken from the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke the evangelist – the author of this book – related to us the story of what happened on the day of Pentecost: “At that time, the disciples were all in one place together, when all at once there came from the sky a noise like a strong wind which filled the house in which they were. There appeared to them tongues as of fire which parted and came to rest on each of them. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit.” And from that time on they were never the same again.
We should remember that even after the disciples had seen and even talked to the Lord Jesus in person after His resurrection, they still continued hiding for fear of the Jewish authorities. After Pentecost they were no longer afraid of anything or anybody, because courage was one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that they received. They also had a complete understanding of their mission in this world. They knew exactly what to do and what to say in every circumstance, because they received wisdom, which was another gift of the Holy Spirit. There are more gifts – seven in all – but we will talk about the other gifts at another time.
The good news is that the same charisms that the disciples received at Pentecost are the very gifts we all receive in the Sacrament of Baptism that are also strengthened in the Sacrament of Confirmation. Last week we blessed and prayed over members of our parish family who graduated high school and college this year. As they go to another school or work in another place, we pray that they will make use of the gift of wisdom which they received from the Holy Spirit and make good decisions. One of these, of course, is finding the right company and good friends.
When King Solomon was asked by God to ask for anything, instead of asking for wealth or long life, he asked for wisdom. With this gift he was able to make the right decisions and get everything he needed and more.
Decision making is what we do from the time we wake up until we go to sleep. With the help of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in our souls, we know and we believe that, as long as we follow God’s commandments, every decision we make and every step we take will be the right one.