May 19, 2024 - Pentecost Sunday

Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11
Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34
1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13
Pentecost Sequence
John 20:19-23

The text below printed in bold color and italics was sung.

To hear a recording of the song click on the button below.  Only the first verse and the first line from the song were actually sung during the homily.

Veni Creator Spiritus,
Mentes tuorum visita,
Imple superna gratia,
Quae tu creasti pectora.

Come, Creator Spirit,
Your mind visit [and]
Fill with abundant grace
The hearts which you created.

Today we hear two very different stories of how the disciples received the Holy Spirit.

In the Acts of the Apostles,
Luke tells us how the Spirit suddenly came upon them
like a strong driving wind
and tongues of fire.

In the Gospel according to John
Jesus breathes on them
and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

In the acts of the Apostles
this happens fifty days after the Resurrection.

In John’s gospel,
it happens on the very same day
as the Resurrection.

In both instances
it happens in the upper room,
behind closed and locked doors
where the disciples are gathered
in fear and trembling.

In both instances
it comes as a surprise.

The Spirit surprised the disciples of the Lord.

The Spirit changed them.

Ultimately it enabled them to leave the upper room,
to vanquish their fears and disappointments.

It gave them courage,
wisdom and understanding.


Veni Creator Spiritus!


In our second reading
Paul reminds the Corinthians and us
that we were all baptized in one Spirit,
the same Spirit that came upon the disciples
in the upper room
years before that.

St. Paul wasn’t in the upper room,
but he received the Holy Spirit.

He was lying on the ground,
blinded by the light,
when a voice came to him.

He knows that the Spirit comes to all of us,
but he also knows that the Spirit comes in many different ways.


Veni Creator Spiritus!


Each one of us here has received the Holy Spirit.

Some of us received the Spirit
in the waters of Baptism
and in the anointing and laying on of hands at Confirmation.

Some of us, however,
received the Spirit that led us to the sacraments.

All us, in one way or another,
have been blessed by the Spirit.

As Paul reminds us today,
“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts…
there are different forms of service…
there are different workings…”
but it is “…the same Spirit;
… the same Lord;
… the same God who produces all of them.”

No matter who we are,
Paul reminds us,
“we were all given to drink of the one Spirit!”


Veni Creator Spiritus!


Each and every time we gather here,
the Spirit is at work among us.

Each and every time we hear the Word proclaimed,
the Spirit speaks to our hearts.

Each and every time we eat Christ’s Body
and drink Christ’s Blood,
the Spirit within us is nourished and strengthened.

Each and every time we say,
“Jesus is Lord,”
the Spirit is at work in us.

Whenever we speak a kind word,
whenever we do a good deed,
whenever we extend a helping hand,
whenever we share with someone in need,
the Spirit is at work in us.


Veni Creator Spiritus!


Just as there were different ways
in which the Spirit was revealed long ago,
there are countless ways in which the Spirit
works in us.

In fact,
we would not be here this morning
if the Spirit had not been at work
in our lives.

Sometimes we don’t notice what the Spirit is doing.

Sometimes we wonder how or why something happened,
why or how we knew what to do.

We wonder what came over us,
what inspired us.

In every one of those situations,
the Spirit was at work in us.

Sometimes we just give too  little credit to what the Spirit is doing.


Veni Creator Spiritus!


While the Spirit may not have descended upon us,
like a dove flying down from heaven,
while the Risen Lord may not have walked into a locked room
and breathed upon us,
while a strong driving winds may not have blown our way,
nor tongues of fire parted and settled on each of us,
while we may not have been knocked to the ground or blinded by the light,
we have all been blessed by the Spirit.

And for this, today,
we give thanks.


Veni Creator Spiritus,
Mentes tuorum visita,
Imple superna gratia,
Quae tu creasti pectora.