Pentecost Sunday Year C by Fr. Isaac A Mensah 

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Pentecost Sunday Year C by Fr. Isaac A Mensah

First Reading Acts 2:1-11
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-30,31,34
Second Reading Romans 8:8-17
Gospel John 20:19-23

Theme: “Renew the face of the earth”


The season of Easter concludes with today’s celebration, the feast of Pentecost. On Pentecost we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem; this event marks the beginning of the Church.

Explanation of the text

A cursory look at the first reading and the gospel of today gives an impression of a double reception of the Holy Spirit at two separate and distinct events and thus creates a seemingly confusion. However a clear explanation must be given to settle this confusion.

In John’s Gospel Jesus does not impart the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (the Jewish Feast of Weeks, or Shavuot, which falls on the fiftieth day after Passover). Here, the Spirit comes on Easter, during Jesus’ first post-resurrection appearance to a collection of his followers. (Earlier in the day, outside the tomb, he spoke to and commissioned only Mary Magdalene.) Also, in this passage we encounter the Spirit with less of a universal tone (in comparison to Acts); the focus here is more particular, focused on the identity and sending of a community.

On the other hand, in the Acts of the Apostles, God chose an agrarian feast of the Jews to manifest the third Person of the Holy Trinity that is the descent of the Holy Spirit. This is also in fulfillment of the promise made by Jesus Christ to the apostles.

Reminiscing the days of the Tower of Babel (Gen 11:1-9), where God used language to disperse humanity on the face of the earth due to man’s conspiracy. Today God uses the same language to bring together humanity from dispersed backgrounds. It is this universal character that sets apart the two reception of the Holy Spirit as recorded in John’s gospel and the Acts of the Apostles.

The Holy Spirit remains the principal active agent in the life of the Church. We see that upon the reception of the Holy Spirit, once timorous souls became so audacious in their evangelization enterprise.

The Holy Spirit also enables Christian life by dwelling in the individual believers and enables them to live a righteous and faithful life. This is what Paul meant when says in our second reading that without the Holy Spirit we can’t please God. The Holy Spirit again acts as comforter or Paraclete, One who intercedes, or supports or acts as an advocate, particularly in times of trial.

In this age and at this time when the world is going through a lot challenges threatening humanity; from false philosophies, doctrines, teachings, political bullying, nuclear weapons, religious fanaticism metamorphosed into terrorism, inequality, economic crisis, abject poverty, insecurity and insurgencies etc, what the world needs is a renewal. Let us continue to pray to the Holy Spirit to renew the face of the earth.


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