Homily - Pentecost Sunday

In today’s Gospel, as in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, the Spirit empowers the Church for its mission (“even so I send you”).

So what’s your mission?

In the Book of the Prophet Joel (2:28) we read: “Thus says the Lord: I will pour out my spirit upon all mankind. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall see visions.”

Parents: Are your children prophesying? Why not?

Adults: Seen any visions lately? Why not?

Pope  Francis with dove

The words of Pope Francis (Pentecost Sunday homily, 2013) relate to what happened to the disciples in the readings: “Let us ask ourselves:

  • …do we tend to stay closed in on ourselves?
  • … do we tend to stay closed in on our own group?

That’s safe - but it’s not very exciting. It’s hardly the stuff of mystical prophecy and seeing visions. Its one reason, I propose, that so many Catholics have left our congregation. They were bored.

bored baby

Pope Francis continues: “Do we let the Holy Spirit open us to mission? The Holy Spirit makes us look to the horizon. The Holy Spirit drives us to the very outskirts.” THERE - out there - away from where its nice and safe and comfortable - there is where we find the existence of life in Jesus Christ.

So what’s my mission? This is certainly the question that was asked by Peter and John and Mary the Mother of God and Mary Magdalene. How do we start to determine what it is and how we can carry it out?

This weekend is Pentecost Weekend. This weekend we had the juxtaposition of:

  • First Friday characterized by the recitation of the Litany of the Sacred Heart.
  • Nocturnal Adoration.
  • Pentecost Sunday Mass.picture of the sun's rays for forgiveness, presence, power


So what are we talking about here?


  • First Friday characterized by the recitation of the Litany of the Sacred Heart (God’s forgiveness)
  • Nocturnal Adoration (God’s presence)
  • Pentecost Sunday (God’s power)


Before you move out of the Easter season and into “Ordinary Time,” to help determine what your mission is, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Where do I need God’s forgiveness? Where is forgiveness lacking?
  2. Where do I need God’s presence? Where am I lonely?
  3. Where do I need God’s power? Where is power missing ?

Mary and the Holy Spirit

One final thought. If your meditation on these three questions isn’t going anywhere, have a conversation with Mary. Mary was there at Pentecost. Mary was there at the beginning of the Church. Wherever Mary is, there is the Church. She goes nowhere without her Son. Bring her presence into your prayer life. Her presence HAS to invoke the Holy Spirit because if Mary is there, the Holy Spirit is present. And when the Holy Spirit is present, Christ is there.


Audio version of homily here:






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