REFLECTION ON THE READINGS ON THE PENTECOST SUNDAY (A) 4TH JUNE, 2017.
? Acts 2:1-11, Ps 104, 1Cor 12:3b-7.12-13, Jn 20:19-23
✍? OGECHUKWU OKPULU.
? HOLY SPIRIT KINDLE IN US THE FIRE OF YOUR LOVE.
The universal church today with great joy and hope celebrates the Solemnity of Pentecost. The Church marks her birthday, that memorable day when the Holy Spirit, the promise of the God was fulfilled by descending on the disciples. It was the coming of the Holy Spirit that launched the church. The word PENTECOST comes from the Greek word which means Fiftieth. The fiftieth day after resurrection of Christ. With this celebration we come to the end of Easter Season, the paschal candle will be removed from the sanctuary and be used only at baptism and funerals. Tomorrow we shall continue with the ordinary time of the year and the Angelus prayer.
The first reading and the Gospel reading centre on the Pentecost events. The Holy Spirit came down on the apostles in the form of wind and fire. Wind is a symbol of power – the power of God. Fire is a symbol of love – the love of God. Both are strongly connected; love is the greatest power of all.
Before the advent of the Holy Spirit, the apostles were living in fear and hid themselves in the upper room. The work entrusted to them was in jeopardy, they lacked the strength, courage and will to begin the work. When the Holy Spirit descended upon them they left their hiding place and went about courageously preaching the good news with conviction. They were empowered by the Holy Spirit who came down on them in the form of wind and fire as recorded in the first reading. Wind and fire are symbol of power. Wind has power to move. Fire has the power to refine and transform. The Holy Spirit provided them the energy, courage, love and passion to begin the with they were entrusted.
Beloved, the apostles after receiving the Holy Spirit didn’t use it negatively. They never invoked it to fight and destroy their enemies especially the authorities who had been frustrating them and making sure that the Gospel is not spread.
So many Christians seem not to understand the mission of the Holy Spirit. Some see it as an agent of war, destruction and division. Those who invoke the Holy Spirit for destruction are not different from Boko harram and herdsmen who move around destroying souls. This is very wrong and unfair to the third person of the Blessed Trinity. Remember that incident in Lk 9:51-56, when James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume the Samaritan town who refused to receive them, Jesus immediately rebuked them.
We need to review our use and meaning of Holy Ghost Fire. If we invoke it to destroy our enemies, it is unchristian. But if we invoke it so that our enemies maybe cleansed, purified and repent, then it is Christian.
Beloved, we have all been given different gifts as St Paul reminds us in the second reading. Different gifts but from one spirit and for the purpose of uplifting the church. They are not given to us to show off, but for the good of the community of believers, the church.
Finally, as we celebrate Pentecost Sunday we pray that the Holy Spirit will come down upon us afresh and enkindle in us the fire of love and the grace to put into good use the gift we have received through Christ our Lord. ??.
GOD BLESS YOU AND MAY YOU FAN INTO FLAME THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.??