Written Homily

St. Barnabas Catholic Church, 06/09/2019, Yr C, Pentecost Sunday,

            


Taken from: Arch Bishop Michael’s Homily 2016.

THIS WEEKEND,,, WE CELEBRATE THE FEAST OF PENTECOST!

THOUGH THIS FEAST,,, HAS BEEN CELEBRATED,,, LONG BEFORE THE TIME OF CHRIST,,, IT HAS A SPECIAL MEANING FOR US.

THIS IS THE DAY,,, THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD,,, DESCENDED UPON THE APOSTLES WITH A SOUND LIKE A RUSHING WIND,,, AND TONGUES OF FIRE APPEARED ON THEIR HEADS! 

THAT DAY,,, THE APOSTLES WERE FILLED WITH HIS POWER,,, AND GIFTS. IN DOING SO,,, GOD EMPOWERED THEM TO GO FORTH,,, TO BOLDLY LIVE AND PROCLAIM,,, THE GOSPEL AND START BUILDING   

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST.

THAT LONG AGO PENTECOST WAS THE FULFILLMENT OF JESUS’ PROMISE,,, THAT THE COMFORTER,,, THE PARACLETE,,, THE HOLY SPIRIT,,, WOULD BE SENT TO TEACH THEM ALL THINGS. 

THAT’ WHY,,, TODAY IS CONSIDERED THE BIRTHDAY OF THE CHURCH AND THE REASON WE CELEBRATE HERE IN WORSHIP.

BEFORE PENTECOST,,, THE APOSTLES WERE FRIGHTENED,,, CONFUSED AND SCARED. 

EVEN THOUGH,,, THEY HAD WALKED WITH JESUS,,, WITNESSED HIS MIRACLES,,, HIS CRUCIFIXION,,, HIS RESURRECTION,,, AND HIS ASCENSION,,, THEY DIDN’T COMPREHEND!  THEY STILL COULDN’T SURRENDER “SELF” AND EMBRACE CHRIST! 

BUT,,, WHO COULD BLAME THEM?

11 APOSTLES,,, WERE COMMANDED BY THEIR MASTER,,, TO GO FORTH AND BOLDLY PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL AND BAPTIZE,,, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER,,, THE SON,,, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,,,

TO THE VERY FORCES THAT HAD CRUCIFIED JESUS!

WHAT GAVE THEM THE STRENGTH TO ACCOMPLISH THIS CALL,,, THIS COMMANDMENT?

IT WAS BY THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT,,, AND THEIR BEING FILLED WITH HIS GIFTS,,, THAT THE APOSTLES WERE FINALLY ABLE,,, TO FULLY ACCEPT THAT GOD,,, WAS INDEED WITH THEM!

BROTHERS AND SISTERS,,, EVERYTHING IN THIS LIFE IS TEMPORARY… ONLY GOD IS FOREVER! 

BY THE INDWELLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT,,, THE VEIL WAS FINALLY LIFTED! AND FOR ALL THE GREAT GOOD THAT THEY HAD ACCOMPLISHED,,, IN BUILDING THE BODY OF CHRIST,,, THEY WERE ALL,,, (EXCEPT FOR ONE) MARTYRED,,, AND EVEN THAT DISCIPLE,,, JOHN,,, WAS BOILED IN OIL. 

JOHN SURVIVED AND WAS BANISHED TO LIVE THE REST OF HIS LIFE,,, ON THE ISLAND OF PATMOS,,, A GREEK ISLAND IN THE AEGEAN SEA,,, WHERE THE LAST BOOK OF THE BIBLE,,, THE BOOK OF REVELATION WAS WRITTEN.

NOW,,, THINK ABOUT IT FOR A MOMENT,,, WHAT IF YOU WERE TOLD TO GO OUT,,, TO THOSE WHO DISPISED AND HATED YOU,,, TO THE POINT THAT THEY WERE MORE THAN WILLING TO IMPRISION,,, OR,,, KILL YOU,,, IN THE NAME OF THEIR RELIGION AND POLITICAL VIEWS?

HOW WOULD YOU REACT,,, IF YOU WERE CALLED TODAY,,, TO GO TO THE MIDDLE EAST,,, AND IN PARTICULAR TO IRAQ,,, SYRIA,,, AND IRAN,,, AND PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS? 

IT WOULD BE A HARD DECISION,,, TO LEAVE ALL YOU HAVE,,, ALL YOU LOVE,,, AND GO FORTH,,, KNOWING,,, YOU WOULD PROBABLY BE MARTYRED,,, OR,,, AT THE LEAST,,, IMPRISIONED AND TORTURED ,,, WOULDN’T IT?

BUT,,, THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE APOSTLES WERE COMMANDED TO DO! 

GO BOLDLY WITH UNWAIVERING FAITH AND COURAGE AND FACE HEROD,,, THE SANHEDRIN,,, AND,,, THE ROMAN EMPIRE. 

IT WOULD INDEED,,, TAKE A STRONG BELIEF AND COMMITMENT,,, OR,,, IN OTHER WORDS FAITH.

LET’S MAKE IT A LITTLE EASIER. WHAT IF,,, YOU WERE COMMANDED,,, TO PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL AND,,, TO STAND FAST,,, IN THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL,,, IN;

(*) A NATION,,, FILLED WITH PEOPLE,,, WHO DON’T 

CARE ABOUT YOU,,, OR YOUR FAITH? 

(*) A NATION,,, FILLED WITH THOSE WHO WORSHIP 

PAGAN GODS. 

(*) A NATION,,, FILLED WITH THOSE WHO THINK THAT 

YOU’RE A FOOL!

(*) A NATION FILLED WITH THOSE WHO PLACE 

POSSESSIONS AND THEMSELVES FIRST!

HOW WOULD YOU FEEL?

(*) WOULD YOU BE WILLING,,, TO BE A

NONCONFORMIST,,, FOR THE SAKE OF THE 

TRUTH,,, OF THE GOSPEL? 

(*) WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO FACE THE 

PERSECUTION,,, THAT MIGHT RESULT? 

(*) WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO STAND FOR THE 

TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL,,, EVEN IF IT MEANT,,, 

TAKING A STAND AGAINST THE FORCES OF THE 

WORLD,,, WHO ARE WORKING TO CHANGE,,, EVEN 

THE CHURCH?

BROTHERS AND SISTERS,,, THIS IS THE WORLD,,, THAT THE CLERGY AND DISCIPLES,,, HAVE FACED,,, EVER SINCE THE VERY FIRST PENTECOST,,,AND,,, THIS IS THE WORLD,,, WE ALL LIVE IN TODAY!

FOR OVER 2000 YEARS,,, THE CHURCH AND DISCIPLES HAVE BEEN CAUGHT UP,,, IN THE GREAT STRUGGLE BETWEEN,,, THE FORCES OF GOOD AND EVIL.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT,,, ACCEPT IT OR NOT,,, WE’RE ALL CAUGHT UP,,, IN THIS BATTLE,,, AND IT’S A BATTLE,,, WHICH WILL CONTINUE TO RAGE UNTIL THE 2ND COMING OF OUR LORD.

SO,,, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN,,, FOR EACH OF US,,, IN OUR OWN CALLING BY CHRIST?

WHEN WE WERE BAPTIZED,,, WE WERE SEALED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT AND WE BECAME A CHILD OF GOD,,, FOR ALL ETERNITY!

WHEN WE WERE CONFIRMED,,, WE HAD HANDS LAID UPON US,,, BY THE BISHOP,,, THE SUCCESSORS OF THE APOSTLES,,, AND WE RECEIVED,,, THROUGH;

UNBROKEN APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION

THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT,,, WHICH ARE THE SAME GIFTS THAT WE NEED,,, IN ORDER TO FULFILL OUR CALL,,, JUST AS THE APOSTLES RECEIVED THEIR GIFTS. THEY NEEDED THEIR GIFTS,,, TO COMPLETE THEIR INDIVIDUAL CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP. 

BROTHERS AND SISTERS,,, WE ALL HEAR AND KNOW,,, OUR CALLING! THE HOLY SPIRIT SPEAKS TO US,,, THROUGH OUR CONSCIENCE. 

PERHAPS YOU FEEL A CALL TO HELP IN THE CHURCH BE IT CLEANING FOR AN EVENT (LIKE JOEAND CONNIE),,, OR,,, TEACHING AND WORSHIP (LIKE DEACON GAIL,,, BRENDA AND JAN) 

THIS IS THE HOLY SPIRIT SPEAKING TO YOU,,, TO USE YOUR GIFTS,,, TO BUILD THE CHURCH!

PERHAPS THERE ARE TIMES WHERE YOU’RE FACING A SITUATION IN SCHOOL,,, HOME,,, OR,,, WORK,,, AND COUNTLESS OTHER PLACES YOU ENCOUNTER,,,

THAT YOU KNOW TO BE WRONG.

WHEN THIS HAPPENS,,, THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL SPEAK TO YOU,,, THROUGH YOUR CONSCIENCE,,, AND WILL GUIDE YOU,,, TO THE RIGHT PATH,,, WITH THE PROPER ACTIONS,,, AND WITH THE APPROPRIATE WORDS,,, SO THAT YOU WILL REMAIN FAITHFUL TO THE GOSPEL AND CHRIST! 

HOWEVER,,, THESE GIFTS,,, THIS EMPOWERED FAITH,,, CAN BE,,, AND SADLY OFTEN DOES,,, SUCCUMB TO TEMPTATIONS. 

WHEN CALLED,,, WE’LL BE TEMPTED TO RESIST AND WE MIGHT HAVE THOUGHTS LIKE THESE;

(*) I’M BUSY AND I DON’T HAVE TIME!

(*) I’VE DONE IT ALL,,, AND IT’S NOT FAIR,,, I’M MAD 

AND I MIGHT EVEN QUIT!

(*) WELL,,, EVERYONE ELSE IS HELPING,,, THEY 

DON’T NEED ME,,, AND BESIDES,,, I DON’T REALLY 

LIKE,,, “SO AND SO”`

(*) THEY MIGHT LAUGH AT ME,,, OR MAKE FUN OF 

ME,,, SO,,, I’LL JUST BE QUIET. OR,,, THIS ONE:

(*) IT’S NOT POLITICALL CORRECT,,, SO,,, I WON’T 

SAY,,, OR DO,,, ANYTHING.

WHEN WE GIVE IN TO THESE TEMPTATIONS,,, WHICH ARE PLANTED BY THE FORCES OF EVIL,,, WE BEGIN TO DULL OUR CONSCIENCE,,, TO MUFFLE AND DISTORT THE VOICE OF THE SPIRIT.  AND IF WE WALK THIS PATH LONG ENOUGH,,, WE CAN EVEN REACH A POINT WHERE WE CAN BECOME DEAF IN OUR HEART AND ACTUALLY GRIEVE,,, (MAKE SAD) THE SPIRIT,,, WHICH IS THE GRAVIST OF SINS.

AS FOR THE CLERGY,,, WE KNOW,,, WE’LL FACE ALL THESE TEMPTATIONS AND MORE! WE’LL BE TEMPTED TO NOT TEACHTHE HARD SCRIPTURES,,,

FOR AFTER ALL,,, WE JUST MIGHT OFFEND SOMEONE,,, AND THEY MIGHT CHOOSE TO LEAVE THE CHURCH.

OR,,, WE MIGHT CHOOSE TO “SUGAR COAT” SOME SCRIPTURES,,, BECAUSE THEY MIGHT MAKE US,,, OR SOMEONE ELSE,,, FEEL “UNCOMFORTABLE”. 

OR,,, WE MIGHT ELECT NOT TO TAKE NECESSARY STEPS AND ACTIONS,,, THAT WE KNOW IN OUR HEARTS,,, WILL GROW THE CHURCH,,, FOR THE SAKE OF NOT UPSETTING ANYONE,,, WITH CHANGE.

BROTHERS AND SISTERS,,, IF YOU’RE NOT HEARING THE SPIRIT,,, OR IF YOU’RE SUCCUMBING TO THE TEMPTATIONS TO RESIST TURNING TO HIM,,, DON’T WASTE TIME,,, REPENT! 

IF YOU NEED HELP WITH DOING THIS,,, I SUGGEST THAT YOU TALK WITH ONE OF THE CLERGY AND RECEIVE THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILLIATION.

ON THIS PENTECOST SUNDAY,,, IT IS MY MOST PROFOUND PRAYER,,, THAT EVERYONE IN THE CHURCH,,, BE A STEADFAST,,, SPIRIT FILLED,,, DISCIPLE OF CHRIST,,, FOR WE ARE IN A TIME,,, WHERE THE SHADOWS GROW LONG,,, AND THE ENEMIES WHICH DWELL IN DARKNESS,,, ARE RALLYING HARDER THAN EVER,,, TO EXTINGUISH THE LIGHT.

I IMPLORE YOU,,, DON’T SUCCUMB TO THE TEMPTATIONS OF THIS WORLD;

WHICH INCLUDES THOSE,,, WHO DECEIVINGLY PRESENT THEMSELVES,,, AS ANGELS OF THE LIGHT & TRUTH,,, BUT WHO TEACH A FALSE GOSPEL AND WHO EMBRACE THE EVIL SINS OF THE FLESH AND OTHER PASSIONS,,, TEACHING IT,,, AS GOOD AND TRUE.

BROTHERS AND SISTERS,,, AS ONE WHO HAS BEEN CALLED TO TEACH,,, I ASSURE YOU,,, THAT AS LONG AS YOU REMAIN ANCHORED ON THE ROCK OF JESUS  AND THE CHURCH HE FOUNDED,,, AND ABIDE BY AND FOLLOW THE GUIDANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT,,,

YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUE PATH AND YOU WILL HAVE THE STRENGTH TO WALK THAT PATH AND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO ENDURE ALL THE TRIALS OF LIFE.

ON THIS PENTECOST,,, LET US WORSHIP AND REJOICE FOR WE BROTHERS AND SISTERS,,, ARE THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS,,, OF THE MOST HIGH GOD!

BLESSINGS TO YOU ALL!

THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

+++ AMEN+++  ( 1,486) WDS,,, 6 PGS