Homily — Pentecost Sunday MMV
Lord send forth Your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
In the days before Modern Chemistry and the periodic table, we used to speak of everything our world being made up of the Four Elements: Earth, Wind, Fire and Water.
It is interesting that in Sacred Scripture, God the Holy Spirit reveals Himself using three of those four basic elements — namely Water, Wind, and Fire.
1) In the Gospel for the Vigil Mass of Pentecost, Jesus says “Rivers of Living Water shall flow from within him” who believes in me. He said this in reference to the Spirit.
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit “Living Water.” But as any biologist can tell you, water is not alive, itâ€™s H20, a chemical compound. At least the water God created isnâ€™t living. But the uncreated Water which is the Holy Spirit is alive, and conscious. This is the living water that Jesus offered the woman at the well, the living water that flowed from the pierced side of Jesus on the Cross.
And as created, inanimate water comes down and is necessary for earthly life on this green earth of ours, so the uncreated, living water of the Spirit is necessary for eternal life on this earth of ours.
May Christ bathe us in the Living Waters of the Spirit this Pentecost Sunday.
2) God the Holy Spirit is also revealed to us as Wind. The Greek word for Spirit is pneuma, which is also the Greek word for wind. The Hebrew word for Spirit is ruah, which is also the Hebrew word for wind. Coincidence?
On Pentecost their was the sound of a strong driving wind which filled the Upper Room where the disciples were.
And on Easter Sunday Evening, Jesus enters through the locked doors and breathed on them, saying “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
So we see how the Spirit blows, He is the Breath of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ.
When you or I breath on someone, we give them a blast of Carbon Dioxide, a gas which if inhaled at high concentrations can cause asphyxiation and ultimately death. But when the Crucified and Risen Lord Jesus breathes on someone, they get a blast of the Holy Spirit, which if inhaled at any concentration causes conviction of personal sin, conversion of life, peace of mind and heart, and ultimately eternally happiness.
May the Wind of the Spirit blow strong upon us this Pentecost Sunday.
3) Finally, God the Holy Spirit is revealed as Heavenly Fire.
Jesus said I have come to cast Fire upon the earth. How I wish it were already blazing! Today we learn that the Wind of the Spirit, the Breath of Jesus, is combustible. For from His Throne in Heaven, Jesus on Pentecost Sunday strikes the Match, Breathes out the Spirit on Mary and the Disciples in the Upper Room, and watches the beautiful bonfire He has started.
The Fire of the Holy Spirit is unique, in that if you throw water on it, it spreads even more. By the end of that first Pentecost Sunday, 3000 from around the world are Baptized in Jerusalem, and they bring the Fire home with them to spread it in their country. Satan tries every fire extinguisher he owns, but he canâ€™t snuff this Fire out. Meanwhile, its reducing Satanâ€™s earthly kingdom to ashes, to clear the way for the Kingdom of God.
2000 years later, and we see how the Fire continues to burn throughout the world.
But as powerful as Fire is, you canâ€™t have a flame without fuel. The Fire of the Holy Spirit within us needs to be constantly fed with the fuel of prayer, reception of the Sacraments, and good works. The more fuel we pour on the Fire, the higher the flames will go, and the happier Jesus will be with us.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, this most solemn Feast of Pentecost may we offer ourselves, soul and body, to the Eternal Spirit of God: the Living Water, the Heavenly Wind and Breath of God, the Eternal Fire of His Divine Love.
Lord, send forth Your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth!