The Power of the Holy Spirit

Homily for Pentecost (Year B)
May 20, 2018
Sacred Heart, EGF – 7:30, 9:00, 10:30

Focus:               That is the power of the Holy Spirit.
Function:         Live in the power of the Holy Spirit.


Pentecost - Joseph Ignaz Mildorfer

Pentecost
Joseph Ignaz Mildorfer
1750
The painting was on an altar in the Church of Holy Spirit in Sopron, Hungary.

The Prince of the Apostles, filled with fear, denied knowing Jesus on the night of his arrest. This same Peter, on the day of Pentecost, stood up with the other apostles and boldly proclaimed to those same people who had shouted “Crucify Him!”, that Jesus is the Son of God and has been raised from the dead.  They were cut to the heart, they repented, and 3000 people were baptized that day.  That is the power of the Holy Spirit.

One hundred thirty years ago, a man murdered three women in Paris. He showed no signs of remorse and was sentenced to death by guillotine.  This cut to the heart of a young girl who lived more than 100 miles away.  She was so moved by the thought that this man might die without having repented, that she decided to fast and pray for his conversion.  On the day of his execution, the man turned to the officer accompanying him, asked for a crucifix, and kissed it three times before he was beheaded.  The young girl, elated that her prayer had been answered, later joined a Carmelite convent and took the name Therese of Lisieux.  That is the power of the Holy Spirit.

A young woman, just 24 years old, attends the funeral of her mother-in-law who died much too young at the age of 44. After communion, she begins to break.  The tears roll down her face as she realizes it is time to say goodbye for the last time.  She feels a hand touch her shoulder and give a warm, comforting squeeze.  Peace descends upon her.  Everything will be OK.  She turns around to see who reached out in a moment of compassion.  No one is there.  The pew behind her is empty.  That is the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is our Advocate when we face the Accuser.
He is our Consoler in moments of incredible pain and loss.

The Holy Spirit is the One who emboldens us to step out in faith, out of our comfort zones. He is the One who does something through us that we could never do on our own power.

The Holy Spirit is the One who gives us the grace to love our enemies,
the One who teaches us all things
the One who gives us what we need at the moment we need it.

He is the One who gives power to our preaching and to our prayers.
It is the Holy Spirit who brings sinners to repentance,
who converts hearts, who convicts hearts.

That is the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit who breathed over the waters at the dawn of creation is the same Holy Spirit who was breathed into your soul at the moment of your baptism.

It is this same Holy Spirit who prays within us when we do not know how to pray as we ought, who prays with inexpressible groanings as we long for the coming of the Kingdom, as we long for peace, for love, for acceptance, for meaning, as we long for God himself. It is the Holy Spirit who makes our souls cry out: “Abba, Father!”

The same Holy Spirit whose power overshadowed a young girl from Nazareth, causing her to conceive the Son of God as the fruit of her womb, is the same Holy Spirit whose power, whose gifts, were conceived in you when you received the Sacrament of Confirmation so that your soul might bear the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

That is the power of the Holy Spirit.

The power of the Holy Spirit is the power to live fully and to love deeply.

It is the power, it is the flame of love within the heart of the baptized believer to love as Jesus loves, to love with a heart of fire, to love with a heart blazing, raging with the uncontrollable fire of charity, an all-consuming fire of the love of God himself.

The Holy Spirit who is the bond of love between the Father and the Son is the same Holy Spirit who is the bond of love between a husband and a wife united in the Sacrament of Matrimony, a bond of love so tight that it can never be broken, a bond that gives the power to remain faithful in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, a bond of love that points to Christ’s love for his Church.

The Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, calls us into our very existence.

It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that ordinary gifts of bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ.

The Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, not only calls us into this existence we call “life” but calls us to eternal life by providing us with the Bread of Life.

That is the power of the Holy Spirit.

Brothers and sisters, you have been given the Holy Spirit. You are temples of the Holy Spirit.

He dwells within you. He does.

He is with you.
His power is within you.

The Holy Spirit continues to be poured out upon you, within you, a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

Live in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The secret to living in the power of the Holy Spirit is this:
Call upon him. Pray and pray often: Come Holy Spirit!

Call upon him and then give in to his power working within your soul. Let your soul cry out in glory to God when the Holy Spirit inspires you to do so.  Give in to the inexpressible groanings, the searching for God, the inspirations to do something heroic, something more, something…saintly.

Come Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful,
and enkindle in us the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created,
and you shall renew the face of the earth.

Come Holy Spirit.  Come and give me the strength to perform that small act of love that I feel called to do but am putting off because it’s outside of my comfort zone.

Come Holy Spirit. Come and give me the strength and grace to overcome my fears and to deny myself, take up my cross, the cross I know you’ve given me to carry but that I am afraid to carry, and follow you.

Come Holy Spirit. Come and give me the courage to take the next step in pursuing my vocation in life, the vocation that you have given to me.

Brothers and sisters, call upon the Holy Spirit and you will live in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Live in the power of the Holy Spirit and you will experience the real power of Pentecost.

What is the Lord placing on your heart right now? I invite you to pray…

Come Holy Spirit. Come and help me to…

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