Sunday of Pentecost

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Sunday of Pentecost


First Reading

Acts 2,1-11

When Pentecost day came round, they had all met together, when suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of a violent wind which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and there appeared to them tongues as of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak different languages as the Spirit gave them power to express themselves. Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, and each one was bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. 'Surely,' they said, 'all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; residents of Rome- Jews and proselytes alike -- Cretans and Arabs, we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.'

Psalmody

Psalm 103

Antiphon

How great you are O Lord, our God.

Bless the Lord, my soul!
Lord god, how great you are,

clothed in majesty and glory,
wrapped in light as in a robe!

You stretch out the heavens like a tent.
Above the rains you build your dwelling.

You make the cloud your chariot,
you walk on the wings of the wind,

you make the winds your messengers
and flashing fire your servants.

You founded the earth on its base,
to stand firm from age to age.

You wrapped it with the ocean like a cloak:
the waters stood higher than the mountains.

At your threat they took to flight;
at the voice of your thunder they fled.

They rose over the mountains and flowed down
to the place which you had appointed.

You set limits they might not pass
lest they return to cover the earth.

You make springs gush forth in the valleys:
they flow in between the hills.

They give drink to all the beasts of the field;
the wild-asses quench their thirst.

On their banks dwell the birds of heaven;
from the branches they sing their songs.

From your dwelling you water the hills;
earth drinks its fill of your gift.

You make the grass grow for the cattle
and the plants to serve man's needs,

that he may bring forth bread from the earth
and wine to cheer man's heart;

oil, to make his face shine
and bread to strengthen man's heart.

The trees of the Lord drink their fill,
the cedars he planted on Lebanon;

there the birds build their nests:
on the tree-top the stork has her home.

The goats find a home on the mountains
and rabbits hide in the rocks.

You made the moon to mark the months;
the sun knows the time for its setting.

When you spread the darkness it is night
and all the beasts of the forest creep forth.

The young lions roar for their prey
and ask their food from God.

At the rising of the sun they steal away
and go to rest in their dens.

Man goes forth to his work,
to labour till evening falls.

How many are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your riches.

There is the sea, vast and wide,
with its moving swarms past counting,
living things great and small.

The ships are moving there
and the monsters you made to play with.

All of these look to you
to give them their food in due season.

You give it, they gather it up;
you open your hand, they have their fill.

You hide your face, they are dismayed;
you take back your spirit, they die,
returning to the dust from which they came.

You send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the earth.

May the glory of the Lord last for ever!
May the Lord rejoice in his works!

He looks on the earth and it trembles;
the mountains send forth smoke at his touch.

I will sing to the Lord all my life,
make music to my God while I live

May my thoughts be pleasing to him.
I find my joy in the Lord.

Let sinners vanish from the earth
and the wicked exist no more.
Bless the Lord, my soul.

Second Reading

Romans 8,8-17

and those who live by their natural inclinations can never be pleasing to God. You, however, live not by your natural inclinations, but by the Spirit, since the Spirit of God has made a home in you. Indeed, anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But when Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin but the spirit is alive because you have been justified; and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead has made his home in you, then he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you. So then, my brothers, we have no obligation to human nature to be dominated by it. If you do live in that way, you are doomed to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the habits originating in the body, you will have life. All who are guided by the Spirit of God are sons of God; for what you received was not the spirit of slavery to bring you back into fear; you received the Spirit of adoption, enabling us to cry out, 'Abba, Father!' The Spirit himself joins with our spirit to bear witness that we are children of God. And if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, provided that we share his suffering, so as to share his glory.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If we are not reborn through water and the Spirit,
we cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 14,15-16.23-26

If you love me you will keep my commandments. I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Paraclete to be with you for ever, Jesus replied: Anyone who loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make a home in him. Anyone who does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not my own: it is the word of the Father who sent me. I have said these things to you while still with you; but the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
he sent me to bring good news to the poor.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Homily

On the day of Pentecost, fifty days after Easter, the apostles "were all together in one place" (Acts 2:1). They obeyed Jesus who, before ascending into heaven, had told them: "So stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high" (Lk 24:49). Also that day they were gathered together in the "large room upstairs" (Lk 22:12). The apostles had not understood yet the promise of the Spirit, and yet they continued to gather and pray together. The risen Jesus had been with them forty days and yet they were still prisoners of fear. And then Pentecost came; it was the feast in which the Jews remembered Moses receiving the tables of the Law on the Mount Sinai. An ancient Jewish text says that when the Law was given to Moses: "The voice of God on the Sinai was divided into seventy languages so that all nations could understand." What happened then figuratively started to become true in Jerusalem. While the community of the disciples was praying with Mary, a rush of a violent wind blew over the house and filled it all. And with the wind also "divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them." The Holy Spirit was descending on them and from then on those men who were scared and prisoners of themselves, were shaken as if by an earthquake. It was not about external collapses, but about the collapse of the walls in their hearts and minds. A new energy took over them and they left the upper room and started communicating the Gospel to all who were in the square. Luke writes that they were Jews "from every nation under heaven." And Luke names them all, one by one, as if to signify universality. They were Jews and yet they were coming from all nations. On that day the universal love of God was manifested.
Thus, the Church moved her first steps, as a people sent to all peoples of the earth. Pentecost immerses us in his mystery of universal mission. The Lord "clothe[s] with power from on high" also us, poor men and women, so that we communicate the Gospel of God to all peoples. He gives us a new energy to speak efficaciously to the men and women of this world. Tongues like of fire descend also on us, they are tongues able to communicate the Gospel so that it may be like a fire that burns and transforms. Yes, we have words that warm up and move, that change the heart and enlighten the mind, that comfort and sustain those in need. The words that Jesu said to his disciples are also directed to us: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." The Lord gives us the power to raise, free and love people and puts the entire world in front of us. Pentecost asks us to let ourselves be guided by the Spirit to communicate his love to all.