Celebrating the birth of the Church – and its mission
Reflections on the readings for Pentecost Sunday – Mass during the Day (May 23, 2021): ACTS 2:1-11; PS 104:1,24,29-30,31,34; 1 COR 12:3-7,12-13; JN 20:19-23
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
God calls us to welcome Holy Spirit by opening our hearts and souls. He wants to cooperate with His grace in a way that we never could on our own.
Today the Church celebrates its own birthday – and the birth of its mission to the world. It happened on Pentecost Sunday, the fiftieth day after Christ rose from the dead. The Apostles were gathered together with the Blessed Virgin Mary and other disciples when the Holy Spirit came upon them. After everything that Jesus has told them and everything He had done, this was the ultimate fulfillment of the Easter promise. In the second reading, St. Paul talks about why the coming of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity is so essential. “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.… As a body in one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3, 12-13). Without the power of the Holy Spirit within us, we are not capable of accepting Christ as our Savior or of following in His way. The Holy Spirit manifests in many possible gifts within each Christian. They are all of great value, but not simply to us as individuals. On the contrary, they are meant to be shared for the good of all and to contribute to the spread of the Church.
God calls us to welcome Holy Spirit by opening our hearts and souls. He wants to cooperate with His grace in a way that we never could on our own. Only through the Holy Trinity – by the will of the Father, the sacrifice of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit – can we receive the blessing of true unity with God and one another. This unity will last through eternity. But it happens only through the might and mercy of the Almighty. We, His precious children, need to freely choose to embrace God’s love and grace. The life we experience may be difficult at times, but we will never be alone. And we will always look forward to an unending future in His presence. It is up to us to choose life, to choose God.