Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pentecost 2012.3- Vespers homilette (synthesis)

Reading: Ephesians 4:3-6

Above all the Holy Spirit, whose initial post-resurrection descent we celebrate today, seeks to foster and bring about unity and peace, first within and then through Christ’s Body, the Church.

On great feasts, like Pentecost, which we celebrate today, but that most of our Orthodox brothers and sisters don’t celebrate for another week this year, we should be mindful, very mindful that Christ’s Body is broken, His Church is not united. We must recognize what a scandal this is. But this also means recognizing that it will require a movement of the Holy Spirit to be healed. One means of assisting in this is invoking the heavenly assistance of the great Mother of God, the Theotokos, Mary most holy, who, as the disciple par excellence, was present with the disciples when the Holy Spirit descended on them.

Pope Benedict with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

We are reminded in our reading this evening, “There is but one body and one Spirit, just as there is one hope given” us all by our call, which is issued in baptism, strengthened in confirmation, and that is nourished by our Lord present in the Eucharist, which we are gathered here to be blessed by, whose Real Presence is a masterpiece of the Holy Spirit.

It is very important for us to grasp that Pentecost is not a one-off event, but is supposed to be normative for the life of Christ's Body, which is animated by the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is the theological version of what goes up must come down. Jesus ascends and the Holy Spirit descends, just as Christ promised. Pentecost is the surest proof that as Christians we are not People of the Book, but People of the Holy Spirit, who remains the risen Christ's resurrection presence in and among us, continually pouring the love of God into our often hardened hearts, transforming us and empowering us to transform the world. So, we pray: Veni Sancte Spiritus, veni per Mariam- Come Holy Spirit, come through Mary.

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