This weekend we celebrate Pentecost, which is sometimes called the birthday of the Church. You might remember that Jesus told his disciples that he had to go—he had to ascend into heaven—so that he could send the Holy Spirit to them. On Pentecost the Holy Spirit arrives. Before that, the disciples could see Jesus because he was a man—both God and man. So they could see him just as you can see me and I can see you. The Holy Spirit is God, too, but he’s Spirit, and spirits, by definition, are not physical things. You can’t see spirits.
So at Pentecost, the disciples don’t see the Holy Spirit. Instead, they see his signs. Those signs are a driving wind and flames shaped like tongues over the heads of the people there. One sign in particular tells us a lot about the Church. The people at Pentecost come from different countries, and they speak different languages, so normally they wouldn’t be able to understand each other. But when the Holy Spirit comes, they do understand each other. The Holy Spirit changes something inside of them.Continue reading “Pentecost homily”