Past Homilies

God’s Word in Small Bites

Fr. Dino’s homily

 

 


Homily for Pentecost, May 19, 2024

Fierce attacks have been, and are, directed mostly against the Catholic Church by those who are hellbent on replacing reality, nature, truth, decency, and common sense with crazy ideologies inspired by the prince of darkness. 

Satan’s minions know that the Catholic Church might be the last standing bulwark of morality based on natural law and on the Gospel. 

Hence, it should not be surprising that often we get upset, deeply concerned, and even become apprehensive and frightened just watching the news.   

Regardless of the issue of the day: reproductive rights (euphemism for abortion and denial of care to children who survive the horror of abortion), same sex “marriage,” gender ideology, some states’ infringement on parental rights, critical race theory, various mandates trampling over our freedom of conscience, etcetera, those who insist on living according to traditional values and adherence to the tenets which Christ has entrusted to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, are branded with disparaging labels from the benign “regressive,” “old-fashioned,” to the scathing “bigots and racists spewing out hate speech.” 

This is the unpleasant situation in which we, believers, must live nowadays in this country.  

My heart goes out to those who have a family to care for and, thus, tend to shy away from their duty of bearing witness to Christ and to his Church for fear that they will be “cancelled,” forced into bankruptcy, fired from their job, or crushed in other ways. 

They find themselves torn, because they truly love Jesus. Hence, the simple weekly exposure to the words of truth and life heard in church, on Sunday, generates in their souls a mixture of shame and anguish. 

Today, Pentecost Sunday, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, will notice any trace of shame and anguish in our souls and anger brewing in our hearts.   

Therefore, it is vital for us to keep in mind that the word Comforter in Latin indicates the One who supports us with his divine strength.  

It might also be spiritually beneficial for us to tally (roughly) how many Pentecost Sundays we have celebrated thus far in our lifetime, hunkering down behind locked doors of different types, while ignoring the “tongues as of fire,” the strong driving wind” and other unmistakable signs of the Holy Spirit’s presence. 

We might want also to remind ourselves that “we were all given to drink of one Spirit.” 1 Cor 12:13 

Officially, we drank it when we were baptized and confirmed.  

We drank it every time we renewed our baptismal promises and whenever we became one with the Lord Jesus in Holy Communion. 

So, it is time now for me to address, with burning passion in my heart, all those here present who are ready to stand up to the attacks which have been creating shame, anguish, and lots of righteous anger in us, and want the doors of their hiding place to be flung open. 

I want to address, with a mind flooded by the light of Christ’s truth, all those who cannot live any longer with awful emotions triggered by the blatant, relentless injustices they endured. 

My brothers and sisters in Christ, the most reoccurring sentence in the Bible, from cover to cover, notwithstanding minor variations, is this: “Do not be afraid! 

It is decision time. Today, we can have another one of our “bland, uncommitted Pentecost Sundays” or we can “drink of one Spirit” and do so intentionally, fully aware that, if we let the Holy Spirit take hold of our entire being, body and soul, mind and heart, we would be thoroughly changed. Any hunkering down behind locked doors would become unbearable. 

The Holy Spirit would expose us to new ways and new situations, some very painful, some very exhilarating, but all stunning, effective, and transforming. 

Speaking of drinking of the Holy Spirit, the reaction at that first Pentecost was one of amazement and shock as we see from the 1st reading.  

However, if we read the next verse (Acts 2: 13) we learn of the reaction of those who knew how afraid and how cowardly those disciples of Jesus hunkered down behind locked doors were: 

But others said, scoffing, “They have had too much new wine.” 

Drinking of one Spirit, fully aware of what he can do, would have on us the same effect of drinking too much new wine. 

We would break through the shell of prudence, fear, worry, and hesitation which have hurt our beloved Church, i.e., all of us, and which allow our country and our western world to live in the darkness forced upon us by godless ideologies and to run adrift without the moral rudder of God’s law.  

And those who, understandably, are worried about protecting their family, the Comforter will suggest positive and operational actions dictated by wisdom. 

Such acts of courage on our part would turn this prayer-refrain into reality: “Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth;” it would assuredly                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 happen!