Homily‎ > ‎

24th May, 2015 - Pentecost Sunday

posted 23 May 2015, 12:38 by St Wilfrid RC Haltwhistle   [ updated 6 Nov 2015, 00:44 by StJohns Annitsford ]

H.B. & Hw.

Today is a festival of grace and gratitude. Today is a celebration of abundance. We celebrate abundance of life in the Spirit. We celebrate this abundance of life in the Spirit in our Mass and Eucharist.

In the Spirit our faith becomes an affair of the heart. Not just the head. In the Spirit we no longer follow an overly patriarchal religion. A men only religion! We freely admit the feminine enrichment of our thinking, speaking and acting.

With life in the Spirit our asceticism and mortification takes on a positive quality. No self-hatred and mutilation but rather development of physical sensibility. Our disciplines are directed to creativity. Like the musician who practices to produce great music. Like the athlete who trains to win. In the Spirit we even rejoice in our God-given passions, directing them blessedly.

Our Spirit-filled God is Father, Mother and child. All things to all. Our sufferings are but the birth pangs of the universe. Never divine retribution. Death even, in the Spirit, is but the prelude to rebirth. Informed by the Spirit, our holiness is openness and hospitality to life and persons, places and things. Never negative.

Never withdrawal, introversion and individualist, save-my-soul­ spirituality. Our quest together is for ever greater perfection and innocence. Hence our thirst. Our thirst for the Holy Spirit. That we may grow, expand and be ever young at heart. Ever more nearly all we are meant to be.

Our story begins and ends with the Spirit. Our history opens with God's creative energy and original blessing whom we call the Holy Spirit. Hence our extrovert spirituality which looks in wonder upon the cosmos, God's creation and universe. Our prayer feeds on this vast inspiration. So far from seeking signs we live with the miracle of existence. "It is good (wonder-ful) for us to be here."

Ecologically sensitive, cosmically aware, so far from fearing the sciences we recognise our debt to the scientist who teaches us about our creator. We are not "either/or people". We are "both/and people", welcoming body and soul. So far from despising ourselves, we befriend ourselves. Not tightly controlled selves but yielding to the Spirit of breakthrough, ecstasy and spontaneity.

We are hopeful, not pessimistic. Dancing to the rhythm of creation we are not elitist but one for all and all for one. Our Spirit-filled Christ, after all, is the cosmic Christ. The Universalist, our Lord Jesus Christ, is through, with and in all. And with his gift of the Holy Spirit, this Pentecost he calls us to our divinity, to fulfil our potential. We can but repeat in joy and trust, "Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful."