我存证道》Pentecost Sunday

					
He will give you another Advocate.
Acts 2:1-11; 1 Cor. 12:3b-7, 12-13 or Rom 8:8-17; Jn. 20:19-23 Or Jn. 14:15-16, 23b-26

Welcome my brothers and sisters in Christ to today's beautiful gathering of the faithful on the Feast of Pentecost. My welcome includes all the visitors who may have surprised us today with their presence. The door to our Church, the House of the Lord, is always open and may the Spirit of Jesus draw them back to us on many more occasions.

"Pentecost," what does it mean? The word "Pentecost" means the "fiftieth day" after Easter. Yes, seven weeks have already passed since Easter. It seems like Easter was just a couple of weeks ago, but no, it was nearly a couple of months ago.

Why do we celebrate "Pentecost?" It is because on that day nearly two thousand years ago, the Holy Catholic Church was made known to the world by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains it this way:

"The Church was made manifest to the world on the day of Pentecost by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Spirit ushers in a new era in the 'dispensation of the mystery' - the age of the Church, during which Christ manifests, makes present, and communicates his work of salvation through the liturgy of his Church, 'until he comes.' [1 Cor. 11:26] In this age of the Church Christ now lives and acts in and with his Church, in a new way appropriate to this new age. He acts through the sacraments in what the common Tradition of the East and the West calls 'the sacramental economy'; this is the communication (or 'dispensation') of the fruits of Christ's Paschal mystery in the celebration of the Church's 'sacramental' liturgy." (C.C.C. # 1076)

(Suggested reading for more preaching material: "The Sacramental Economy" C.C.C. # 1076-1112; "Paschal Mystery and Sacraments" C.C.C. # 1113-1134.)

"On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ's Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a divine person: of his fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance." [Acts 2:33-6] (C.C.C. # 731)

"On that day (of Pentecost), the Holy Trinity is fully revealed. Since that day, the Kingdom announced by Christ has been open to those who believe in him: in the humility of the flesh and in faith, they already share in the communion of the Holy Trinity. By his coming, which never ceases, the Holy Spirit causes the world to enter into the "last days," the time of the Church, the Kingdom already inherited though not yet consummated." (C.C.C. # 732)

"The fullness of the Spirit was not to remain uniquely the Messiah's, but was to be communicated to the whole messianic people. [Ezek. 36:25-7; Joel 3:1-2] On several occasions Christ promised this outpouring of the Spirit, [Lk. 12:12; Jn. 3:5-8, 7:37-9, 16:7-15; Acts 1:8] a promise which he fulfilled first on Easter Sunday and then more strikingly at Pentecost. [Jn. 20:22; Acts 2:1-4] Filled with the Holy Spirit the apostles began to proclaim "the mighty works of God,' and Peter declared this outpouring of the Spirit to be the sign of the messianic age. [Acts 2:11. 2:17-8] Those who believed in the apostolic preaching and were baptized received the gift of the Holy Spirit in their turn." [Acts 2:38] (C.C.C. # 1287)

Slightly changing the subject, do you know that there is an association between the words "Pentecost" and "Catholic?" I am sure that most of you are aware of the fact that the word "Catholic" means "universal." While this is true, it should be applied in the sense of "according to the totality" or "in keeping with the whole." (C.C.C. # 830)

"The Church is catholic because Christ is present in her. 'Where there is Christ Jesus, there is the Catholic Church.' In her subsists the fullness of Christ's body united with its head; this implies that she receives from him 'the fullness of the means of salvation' which he has willed: correct and complete confession of faith, full sacramental life, and ordained ministry in apostolic succession. The Church was, in this fundamental sense, catholic on the day of Pentecost and will always be so until the day of Parousia." (C.C.C. # 830)

In the New Testament, "Parousia" means the Second Coming of Christ. The principal Gospel texts related to this are: Mt. 10:21-4, 16:27, 24:25; Mk. 9:38, Chapter 13; Lk. 9:26, and 21:5-33. The way in which Our Lord spoke of this Second Coming are connected with other sayings referring to the establishment of the Kingdom of God here below and to the destruction of Jerusalem, which took place in 70 A.D.

In summary, the celebration of Pentecost represents the fiftieth day on which:

1) The Church received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit;

2) The founding of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church that has the fullness of the means of salvation;

3) The beginning of the age when Jesus communicates His work of salvation through the liturgy of the Church;

4) The beginning of the dispensation of the Church Sacraments;

5) The ordained ministry in apostolic succession; and,

6) The arrival of the invisible Kingdom of God on earth in Jerusalem, a Kingdom already inherited though not yet consummated.

During today's First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we heard of the glorious arrival of the Holy Spirit in the world as Advocate, such being with Almighty power. This all began when "After His suffering Jesus presented Himself alive to His disciples by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the Kingdom of God. While staying with them, He ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father." [Acts 1:3-4]

In obedience to Jesus, the disciples gathered together in Jerusalem. [Acts 2:5] Then suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. [Acts 2:2] "Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability." [Acts 3:4-5]

Naturally, the manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit drew many to the house where the disciples were gathered. And as we heard, those who came, they witnessed the disciples speaking in all languages to the extent that no matter what language anyone spoke, they could understand the disciples preaching about God's deeds of power.

When speaking of the gift of tongues through which the disciples preached about God's deeds of power, it has to be realized that this gift of the Holy Spirit was not learned knowledge and understanding. It was not like when someone has to go to school and learn something until he understands it and then he is able to explain it to others. The gift of speaking in tongues is manifested in such a way that while the one who is speaking in tongues may be speaking in his own language, those who are present, while they may speak five different languages, each and everyone of them can understand what is being said in their own language. As such, the manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit is not only working through those who speak in tongues, but only through those who hear, each hearing in his own language.

During today's Second Reading from The Letter of Paul to the Romans, we heard that those who are in the flesh, they cannot please God. [Rom. 8:8] These Words from the Holy Gospel affirm the Sacred Words of Jesus to the Samaritan woman. "The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." [Jn. 4:23-4]

My brothers and sisters in Christ, "if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." [Rom 8:13] "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, set their minds on the things of the Spirit." [Rom. 8:5]

In other words, "No one can serve two masters: for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth." [Mt. 6:24]

There comes a time when we must ask ourselves, "Am I spending more time towards my spiritual growth than I am spending towards gaining wealth?" If our minds are continuously preoccupied with fame, pleasures and wealth versus adoring, seeking and knowing God and obeying His commandment of love towards our neighbours, then we have a serious problem that can lead to our condemnation. There comes a time when we must allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit of God in order to qualify to be called children of God. Through our faith in Christ and the Sacrament of Baptism, we received a spirit of adoption so we may qualify to be called children of God and heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ. To inherit these titles, we must be ready to "suffer with Christ so that we may also be glorified with Him." [Rom. 8:17]

By allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify us in Christ, He who dwelled in Jesus and who raised Him from the dead, surely, by dwelling in us, He will raise us also by giving life to our mortal bodies. In thanksgiving for the blessed hope that awaits us, we are indebted to the Holy Spirit.

During today's Gospel Reading, Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." [Jn. 14:15] In other words, if you do not keep the commandments of Jesus, then you do not love Him.

Those who keep the Words of Jesus, they are privileged to enjoy the indwelling of the fullness of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. [Jn. 14:23] Not only do they enjoy the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but Jesus promised that the Father and He would come and make their home in them.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus and the Father gave us the Holy Spirit so we may be sanctified. Our sanctification is achieved through our daily personal communion with God and the Church. As we spiritually grow in Christ, God is pleased and the Holy Catholic Church benefits. If we receive gifts as the disciples received gifts on Pentecost, it is for the benefit of the whole Body of Christ. Through the growth of the Body of Christ, we grow alongside the other faithful members of the Church. If the Body of Christ suffers because of the neglect of some, we all suffer.

This week, let us reflect upon the purpose of the Holy Spirit in the Church. As Advocate, what can the Holy Spirit do for the Church and for each and everyone of us? In view of what He can do, let us ask ourselves if we have allowed the Holy Spirit to freely flow through us so He can guide and teach us according to the purpose that He has been sent by the Lord God.

创建时间:2019-5-20 0:00:00    发布人:cczj