Tag Archives: Feast of Pentecost

Pentecost Sunday

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from Pentecost Sunday: CLICK HERE!

“Well, Chippie doesn’t sing anymore.”

Let me give you the back story, to this quote:

One day a woman in Galveston, Texas was cleaning the bottom of the cage of her parrot, Chippie, with the canister vacuum cleaner.  She was not using an attachment on the tube. When the phone rang, she turned her head to pick it up, continuing to vacuum the cage as she said, hello into the phone.  Then she heard the horrible noise of Chippie being sucked into the vacuum.  Immediately she put the phone down, ripped open the vacuum bag, and found Chippie in there, stunned but still alive.  Since the bird was covered with dust and dirt, she grabbed Chippie, ran into the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held the bird under the water to clean it off.  When she finished that, she saw the hair dryer on the bathroom sink; turned it on and held the bird in front of the blast of hot air to dry him off.

A few weeks later a reporter from the newspaper that originally published the story went out to the house to ask the woman, “How’s Chippie doing now?”  She said, “He just sort of sits and stares.”

Today’s Gospel tells us that this is what happened to the Apostles.  They were traumatized by the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus and bewildered by his post-resurrection appearances and his command to prepare for the coming of his Holy Spirit.

I would guess that many of us can identify with Chippie and the Apostles.  Life has sucked us up, thrown cold water on us, and blown us away.  And somewhere in the trauma, “we have lost our song.”

Pentecost is not just something that happened 2,000 years ago;

Rather, Pentecost – the Gift of the Spirit – is happening in our lives and world today and today reminds us that the Holy Spirit moves us recipients of the Gifts of the Spirit to action and is meant to inspire us to share this gift with others.

We sang in the Responsorial Psalm today:  “Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth.”

How can we, how will we bring the song of life in today’s world?

  • Spirit filled people are praying people.
  • Spirit filled people allow the Spirit to guide their lives through Word (Scriptures) and Sacrament (Eucharist)
  • Spirit filled people pass on the love of God to people living around them by acts of kindness, mercy and charity.

Let me end with an act of kindness, I witnessed this week while at dinner with a family of 4 (all adults) as we celebrated the birthday of the patriarch.  One of the adult daughters (a 20 something) over heard the waitress speaking with a person at the table next to ours. Seems he was to meet someone for dinner (it was his birthday also) and they did not show up.  So what this adult child did was leave the table and paid the waitress for the man’s dinner bill.

I thought to myself, here is goodness, kindness… the HOLY SPIRIT at work.  Here is the Gospel being proclaimed in the real world.

Today is a great day to ask the Holy Spirit to re-kindle or stir up in us the spirit of new life and enthusiasm of faith and in the process be reminded that renewal of the face of the Earth, includes each of us doing our part in living the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit received at our Baptism and Confirmation…

This week, look for the Spirit at work in the world around you and seize the moments and opportunities to share the faith in word and deeds with others.

Feast of Pentecost

(Father Cebula was away this weekend, but shared a few thought for reflection this Pentecost 2016)

Today is the Feast of PENTECOST,  the birthday of the Church, because it was on the 1st Pentecost many, many years ago that the Holy Spirit entered the followers of Jesus.

On that First Pentecost, they became the BODY of CHRIST in the world.

As one scripture scholar has shared:  The Feast of Pentecost is meant to be a blowout celebration that reminds us of the unfathomable power we have been given to create a community of universal solidarity.

Pentecost celebrates the fact that the Gospel can be understood in every time and culture because it fulfills the deepest yearning of human hearts.

With ALL of our bewildering differences…  Pentecost tells us that we are all such a part of one another that sharing God’s peace is really possible.  That is the message we are called to believe and proclaim by the way we live!

Seems to me it is not about someone else being Jesus.  It’s about you and me being Jesus. And with the Gift of the Spirit that is the gift of Pentecost (as well as Baptism and the Eucharist), we can become the “Body and Blood of Jesus” to one another and to all.

Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth.  May we be Jesus to one another today and everyday.       Amen.

Feast of Pentecost

Scripture Readings: Acts 2: 1-11 1 Corinthians 12: 3-7; 12-13 John 20: 19-23


The Feast of Pentecost, as we know, is referred to as the birthday of the Church.  The Church was born, if you will on Pentecost.  But Pentecost is not a once only event.

Pentecost continued to happen whenever Church happens.

(Reminds me of the Flip Wilson show of many, many years ago and the segment he had entitled:  The Church of What’s Happening Now.)

  • When does Church happen?

When the Spirit comes to set free a community, blowing them out of being stuck in any comfort zone into a world sometimes hostile, to proclaim with joy the Gospel…Church happens.

  • When does Church happen?

When the Spirit turns a group of frightened people into a people afire with Jesus’ love…Church happens.

  • When does Church happen?

When the Spirit comes upon a community and makes each person aware of his or her gift given for the good of others, whether they are part of that community or not…Church happens.

  • When does Church happen?

When a community knows the breath of Jesus breathing in them, showing itself in a spirit of forgiveness generously extended to others…Church happens.

  • When does Church happen?

When the Spirit makes a community out of individuals and not just individuals from the same family or same neighborhood or same race, class or language.  We’re talking strange people.    We’re talking people we would not give a second glance.  The Holy Spirit creates community with those who are unlike us, people we do not want to be lumped with. People we think about as “nutzoids” and sometimes we are one of the them….This is Church happening.

  • When does Church happen?

Church, to paraphrase the pope, is messy and annoying and absolutely necessary to the Christian life.  And when we see and experience the order and the mess and when we see and experience the comfortable and the annoying…Church happens.

  • When does Church happen?

Church happens when “we” and “others” work together as a community of faith – centered in Jesus and His message.   Church happens when we are not in control, but the Holy Spirit, the Lord is in control and we give God permission to work in and through us, every day.

  • When does Church happen?

Most of all, when a community of believers gathers in the power of the Holy Spirit, who comes upon bread and wine to change it into the body and blood of Christ – Enabling those who receive it to be more deeply transformed into the body of Christ…Church happens.

The question today is not only about how Church has happened in years past or even yesterday.  The question is how will Church happen this moment, this hour of our lives.  How will Church happen later today, tomorrow, and for days to come in the world around us – as person, family and parish.