Theme: THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD’S LOVE WILL HELP US LOVE GOD, LOVE NEIGHBOR AND LOVE OURSELVES
- Acts 2:1-11;
- Psalm 103 (104): 1. 24. 29-31. 34. R/ cf. v. 30;
- Galatians 5:16-25
- John 15:26-27; 16:12-15.
Today we celebrate Pentecost Sunday, Liturgical Year B. The word “Pentecost” comes from a Greek word meaning “fifty” or “the fiftieth day”. The Easter Season of fifty days which began on Easter Sunday will end today with Pentecost Sunday. After the Masses of Pentecost Sunday, the Easter candle will be removed from the sanctuary and it will only be used for baptism and burial Masses. Pentecost Sunday commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles on “Pentecost day”.
The “Gospel Acclamation” today asks the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts and kindle in us the fire of God’s love: “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love”. The fire of God’s love will burn away our sins and help us love God, love neighbor and love ourselves!
The gospel today tells us that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and that he will reveal to us the complete truth. Jesus revealed to us the truth of God’s love, but it is only in his death and resurrection that the complete truth of God’s love is revealed to us in the Holy Spirit!
Indeed the second reading today tells us that the fruit of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control. (SM) But of the nine fruit mentioned, the first three are more important, that is, love, joy and peace. But of the three, love is the most important, that is why it is mentioned first!
Indeed God is love and the perfect love between the Father and the Son is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit of God’s love.
The first reading tells us that on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles in “tongues of fire” and the Apostles began to speak “foreign languages”! In the context of today’s liturgy and readings, the tongues of fire are the fire of God’s love and the “foreign languages” emphasizes the universal mission of the Church to preach the good news of God’s love in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to all the nations, so that all the nations will be united in the love, joy and peace of God!
The responsorial psalm is a response to the beauty of God’s creation with awe! (CSB) But in the liturgy today the responsorial psalm tells us about salvation in the Holy Spirit! Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:
“Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.” (Ps 103 (104): 30; SM)
Today as we celebrate Pentecost Sunday, we thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit and we ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit and kindle in us the fire of his love. The fire of God’s love will burn away our sins and help us love God, love our neighbor and love ourselves! A happy and blessed Pentecost Sunday to all of you!
Parish Priest of St Mary, Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.