Pentecost Sunday – May 23, 2021

PentB21.     Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11.    With the entrance of the Holy Spirit, divine power was released in its fullness, “like a strong driving wind.” “Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire.”  “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.”  When Jesus was physically present, he was there outside of them, in front of them.  However, The Spirit came as a force, energy, divine life, as God himself within them.  God testified to his presence within them, by giving those proclaiming the Lord, the power to be understood by each of the hearers “in his native language.”

John 20:19-23.  The Apostles were trembling in fear.  Look what happened to Jesus!  They were fearful because it could also happen to them.  In contrast to the trembling of the Apostles, Jesus appeared in the power of his divine peacefulness.  “Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  He sends them out to bring his loving divine presence to the entire world by empowering them with the Holy Spirit.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit they are to bring the breathe and the life of God’s holiness to those who wish to be released from their sinfulness.

John 15:26-27, 16:12-15.  Jesus says, “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.  But when he comes, the Spirit of truth he will guide you to all truth.”  The Holy Spirit speaks in unity with the Trinity so that no one divine person speaks ever on his own, but in union with the others.  This world only thinks of what goes from the ‘cradle to the grave’ but the genuine truth that God gives is present and eternal reality.  The glory that the Spirit gives to the Son and the Son to the Father is the recognition of their spectacular, magnificent divinity.

1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13.   “Brothers and sisters: No one can say, ”Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.”  As the branches cannot have life without being connected to the divine vine, so too, it is only by the Spirit that we are able to do anything that is truly good.  God, and only God, is the root source of all goodness.  Without God nothing that is genuinely good is able to occur.  In our individual functions in the Church we draw our capacity to truly benefit the Church from the action of the Spirit within us.

Galatians 5:16-25.   “Brothers and sisters: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.” “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.”  Under whose authority and demands do we live our lives, God or our body?  The natural instincts of our bodies have no spiritual morality, only physical gratification.  It is a true moral crucifixion to live in submission to God and in rejection of the physical desires of our bodies that are not in accord with God’s Will.