Pentecost Sunday


Detail from “Pentecost” by El Greco

Central Idea: The Holy Spirit gives us new life in God. Doctrine: Love and the Holy Spirit. Practical Application: A prayer to the Holy Spirit.

To view the readings for Lectionary 63, click here.

Central Idea: The Holy Spirit gives us new life in God.

Acts 2:1-11

  • Acts recounts the dramatic outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the tiny, newborn Church gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem.
  • The Holy Spirit came as wind and fire, and gave the Apostles words which moved the hearts of Jews “from every nation under heaven” who were on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The pilgrims heard the Apostles in their own native languages.

Ps 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34

  • We are looking for a renewal—from the death of sin to the life of grace, from the death of the body to the body’s glorious resurrection. This is why we ask God to “send forth your spirit,” so we can be created anew, the way spring renews the face of the earth.

Rom 8:8-17

  • Although we have the freedom to go back to our old way of living “according to the flesh” if we want that, by Baptism we have the Holy Spirit and can live accordingly if we want that.
  • The Holy Spirit makes us adopted children of God, sons and daughters who really are his heirs and who can call on the Father the way Christ did: “Abba, Father.”
  • We are not slaves of God, who must fearfully submit to him, but sons.
  • And what is the inheritance we will receive his as sons and daughters? It is to have glorified eternal life with Christ, “if only we suffer with him” now.

Jn 14:15-16, 23b-26

  • The indwelling of the Blessed Trinity in the soul of the baptized Christian in a state of grace lets him call out, “Abba, Father!”
  • Christ’s promise that he and the Father will come to the Christian and make their dwelling with him is precisely the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who teaches us what we need to know.
  • The Holy Spirit also gives us the ability to love, which includes the ability to love Christ by keeping his commands.

Doctrine: Love and the Holy Spirit

  • “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Rom 5:5). (CCC 733)
  • The first effect of this love is the forgiveness of sins, restoring “to the baptized the divine likeness lost through sin” (CCC 734).
  • The Holy Spirit gives us the gift of divine love, the ability to love as God loves us. This love is the very life of the Blessed Trinity. This ability to love is the “power” proper to Christians. (CCC 735)
  • From this power to love grows the fruits of the Holy Spirit as we renounce ourselves and walk in the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (CCC 736)
  • The Holy Spirit teaches us how to pray (CCC 741).

Practical Application: A Prayer to the Holy Spirit

  • Something concrete which is always useful is to memorize, understand, and pray with faith a verbal prayer to the Holy Spirit such as this one:

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

  •  This prayer calls to mind the fundamental things the Holy Spirit gives us:
    • Divine love
    • Renewal
    • Wisdom
    • Consolation
  • We can recite this prayer upon rising in the morning, at the beginning of a time of prayer or spiritual reading, and before Mass.
  • Just as important, we can recite this prayer before beginning any work, including study and our professional work, whether manual or intellectual.
  • It is a way of dealing with the Holy Spirit individually as the person he is.
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