May 31, 2020 – Year A
Readings: Acts 2:1-11 / Ps 104 / 1 Cor 12:3B-7, 12-13 / Jn 20:19-23
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
Not too long ago, during a gathering with brother Knights of Columbus, a man was wearing a t-shirt which said, “I am not 70 years old, I am an 18-year-old man with 52 years of experience.” Maybe you have seen this before. Many believe that experience gives us wisdom, which means the older we get, the wiser we should be. The years give us experience, therefore wisdom.
But as we all know, experience is a hard teacher because it gives the test first and the lesson after. If we are going to school and the teacher gives the test first we wouldn’t like it, but that is the kind of teacher experience is.
Today, as we celebrate the feast of Pentecost, we remember that day when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles like tongues of fire. That is what we heard in the first reading; but in the gospel, which relates to us what happened before Pentecost, we heard that the disciples were in the upper room and the doors were locked for fear of the Jews.
On the first Sunday they saw the Lord alive after dying on the cross and being buried; they saw Him in person. Not only did they see Him but they ate with Him. But even after that they still went into the upper room and locked the doors, because they were still afraid.
Then fifty days after our Lord’s Resurrection and ten days after our Lord’s Ascension into heaven, that was the time that fear no longer bothered them. They had the courage not because they were much stronger than the rest of humanity but because the Holy Spirit had given them that gift.
The Holy Spirit gives everyone seven gifts; we receive these gifts in the Sacrament of Baptism and they are strengthened in the Sacrament of Confirmation. All of us have received these gifts, and I hope and pray that we open them and make use of them.
Today, I speak specifically about one gift – wisdom. When King Solomon had the privilege to be asked by the Lord what gift he wanted, He offered anything. Solomon responded, “Give me the gift of wisdom that I may know what is right and what is wrong,” and God was so happy with him. Now we have the Wisdom of Solomon and it can be so helpful to us. Each of us has to make decisions every day and the Holy Spirit has something to do with making the right decision.
I will mention one fruit of the Holy Spirit, Who gives us twelve of them. Number one is LOVE; and why is this love so important? As the Apostle John said, “perfect love drives out all fear.” So if we really experience God’s Love, there is no place for fear at all. The gifts of the Holy Spirit that we received should always be alive in us. What we should ask ourselves every time we make an important decision is “Am I doing this out of love or not?” Even watching the news, or reading the news or seeing others doing something – good or bad – the question is always “Are they doing this because of love or not?” We should be asking this question over and over again in our lives; and most importantly we should ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and enlighten us.
We have just heard the beautiful chanting of the sequence before the Alleluia verse. That is a beautiful prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to come and fill us with His gifts and Love. May we always pray every day, “Come Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your Love. And send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created and You shall renew the face of the earth.”