Pentecost Sunday, Year A

Acts 2:1-11 1 Corinthians 12: 3B-7, 12-13 John 20:19-23

Theme: The Power of the Holy Spirit

Today the church celebrates the Feast of Pentecost. This celebration takes place 50 days after Easter. On this day, we await the fulfilment of the promise of Jesus to his followers; that the Holy Spirit will be sent by the Father to those who believe. In this light, the readings of today, portray the Holy Spirit has come to stay with believers. Just like the Apostles of Jesus fasted and prayed in preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit, we too have also prepared for today’s feast. Most of us took part in one novena or the other to the Holy Spirit, in preparation for his coming. Hence, we have all positively disposed ourselves for the reception of the Holy Spirit. It is for us to cooperate with the grace of God and give the Holy Spirit a chance to use us as worthy instruments for the spread of the gospel.


In the first reading of today, we are told that “… a sound came from heaven like a mighty wind and tongues of fire resting on each one of them; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues….” This was possible because the disciples were disposed and ready to receive the Spirit. In the same way, we must dispose ourselves today if we want to be partakers of the gift of the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Holy Spirit is a necessity in our lives and in the church. Like St. Paul explains to us in the second reading of today, whatever we receive from the Holy Spirit should be used for the common good of all. It is with the help of the Spirit that we can come to the full knowledge of the fact that “Jesus is Lord”. The full realization of this fact can only be made known by the Spirit. It is also clear that the Holy Spirit has variety of gifts that is given to each one for the common good of the Body of Christ. These gifts are not given for personal gains or to create unnecessary rivalry among the people of God. It is rather given to individuals for service and the growth of the Body of Christ.


Dear friends in Christ, an understanding of the gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit, will help in the proper use of the gifts we have. The early Christians made use of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the spreading of the gospel and the building of the Body of Christ, and not for their personal gains. This brings us to a very important question. The gifts we have received from God, how well are we using them to build the Body of Christ? This is one of the challenges facing us today in our society. These gifts are used by some of us as a tool for the exploitation of others for our personal gains. This is evil and contradicts what St. Paul presents to us in the second reading of today. They should be used for service and the common good of God’s people, not as a tool for exploitation and personal gains. When the gifts of the Holy Spirit are put into proper use, it will make it easier to establish the kingdom of God in our midst.


As children of God, God has given us all different gifts. Let us work hard to build on the gifts that we have received from the Spirit for the common good and service of God’s people. There is no need fighting each other because of our quest for superiority and unnecessary rivalry. All our gifts should be used collectively and in harmony, for us to produce good and lasting fruits that will lead us to eternal life. In the gospel reading of today, as Jesus breathed on his disciples, and they received the Holy Spirit. He then gave them the power to forgive sins; this is another aspect of the power that the Spirit gave to the church.


The celebration of Pentecost is a feast that promotes the establishment of the kingdom of God here on earth. It promotes unity, peace, love, and forgiveness. Let us resolve today as we receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to make good use of the gifts we have received from the spirit. May God grant us the grace to be selfless with the gifts we have received from him. In the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you!




Homily for Pentecost Sunday year A, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp