Pentecost Sunday, Year B
Note: Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I had been compiled for you after the Mass Readings below. Happy Reading!
Liturgical Colour: Red.
These readings are for the day of the feast itself:
First Reading: Acts 2:1-11
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak
When Pentecost day came round, they had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.
Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, each one bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. ‘Surely’ they said ‘all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; as well as visitors from Rome – Jews and proselytes alike – Cretans and Arabs; we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.’
Responsorial: Psalm 103(104):1,24,29-31,34
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are,
How many are your works, O Lord! The earth is full of your riches.
You take back your spirit, they die, returning to the dust from which they came.
You send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord last for ever! May the Lord rejoice in his works!
May my thoughts be pleasing to him. I find my joy in the Lord.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13
In the one Spirit we were all baptised
No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ unless he is under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them. The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose.
Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with Christ. In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink.
Alternative Second Reading: Galatians 5:16-25
If you are led by the Spirit, no law can touch you
If you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence, since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit, the Spirit is totally against such a thing, and it is precisely because the two are so opposed that you do not always carry out your good intentions. If you are led by the Spirit, no law can touch you. When self-indulgence is at work the results are obvious: fornication, gross indecency and sexual irresponsibility; idolatry and sorcery; feuds and wrangling, jealousy, bad temper and quarrels; disagreements, factions, envy; drunkenness, orgies and similar things. I warn you now, as I warned you before: those who behave like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control. There can be no law against things like that, of course. You cannot belong to Christ Jesus unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires.
Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit.
Holy Spirit, Lord of Light,
From the clear celestial height
Thy pure beaming radiance give.
Come, thou Father of the poor,
Come with treasures which endure
Come, thou light of all that live!
Thou, of all consolers best,
Thou, the soul’s delightful guest,
Dost refreshing peace bestow
Thou in toil art comfort sweet
Pleasant coolness in the heat
Solace in the midst of woe.
Light immortal, light divine,
Visit thou these hearts of thine,
And our inmost being fill:
If thou take thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay
All his good is turned to ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew
On our dryness pour thy dew
Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will
Melt the frozen, warm the chill
Guide the steps that go astray.
Thou, on us who evermore
Thee confess and thee adore,
With thy sevenfold gifts descend:
Give us comfort when we die
Give us life with thee on high
Give us joys that never end.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Gospel: John 20:19-23
As the Father sent me, so am I sending you: receive the Holy Spirit
In the evening of the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.
‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’
After saying this he breathed on them and said:
‘Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven;
for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.’
Alternative Gospel: John 15:26-27,16:12-15
The Spirit of truth will lead you to the complete truth
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘When the Advocate comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father, he will be my witness.
And you too will be witnesses, because you have been with me from the outset.
‘I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you now.
But when the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth,
since he will not be speaking as from himself but will say only what he has learnt;
and he will tell you of the things to come.
He will glorify me, since all he tells you will be taken from what is mine.
Everything the Father has is mine; that is why I said:
All he tells you will be taken from what is mine.’
Acknowledgment: We thank the Publisher for allowing us to publish the Mass Readings to be used as reference for Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us around the World.
Homilies, Angelus / Regina Caeli
“The Spirit of truth ... will guide you into all the truth.... He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:13-14). From Jesus’ promise comes the certainty of fidelity in teaching, an essential part of the Church’s mission. In this proclamation, which takes place throughout history, the Holy Spirit is present and active with the light and power of divine Truth. The Spirit of Truth enlightens the human spirit, as St Paul says: “and all were made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13). His presence creates new awareness and knowledge about revealed truth, thus making it possible to share in the knowledge of God himself. In this way, the Holy Spirit reveals the crucified and risen Christ to men, and shows the way to become ever more like him.
All the great works of God begin with the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, both in the life of individuals and in that of the whole Ecclesial Community. Born on the day of the descent of the Holy Spirit, the Church is constantly reborn through the work of that same Spirit in many places throughout the world, in many human hearts, in various cultures and nations.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 18 May 1997)
Just as John depicts Mary at the foot of the Cross, Luke records her presence in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost, in prayer with the Apostles. This double icon fully expresses Mary’s role in the mystery of Christ and the Church, as the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council teaches (Lumen gentium, chap. VIII).
Mary is the model of the Church, which knows how to listen silently to God’s words of love and invokes the gift of the Holy Spirit, a divine fire that warms men's hearts and illumines their steps on the ways of justice and peace.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Regina Caeli, 18 May 1997)
...However, if the proclamation is to be effective, a lived witness remains crucial. Only the believer who lives what he professes with his lips has any hope of being heard. One must bear in mind that circumstances at times do not permit an explicit proclamation of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of all. It is then that the witness of a life that is respectful, chaste, detached from riches and free from the powers of this world, in a word, the witness of holiness, can reveal all its convincing power, even if offered in silence.
It is also clear that our firmness in being witnesses of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit does not prevent us from collaborating in the service of man with those who belong to other religions. On the contrary, it prompts us to work together with them for the good of society and peace in the world.
At the dawn of the third millennium, Christ's disciples are fully aware that this world appears as "a map of various religions" (Redemptor hominis, n. 11). If the Church's children known how to remain open to the Holy Spirit's action, he will help them communicate Christ's one, universal saving message in a way that respects the religious convictions of others.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 10 June 2000)
It is very important to work together with every man and woman of good will to build a more just and fraternal world.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Regina Caeli, 11 June 2000)
The Gospel just proclaimed has enabled us to relive the moment in which that promise became a reality: the Risen Lord enters the Upper Room, greets the disciples, breathes on them and says: "Receive the Holy Spirit" (John 20:22). Pentecost, described in today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, is the event that made publicly evident, fifty days later, the gift which Jesus bestowed upon his disciples on the evening of Easter.
The Church of Christ is always, so to speak, in a situation of Pentecost: she is always gathered in the Upper Room in prayer, and at the same time, driven by the powerful wind of the Spirit, she is always on the streets preaching. The Church is kept ever young and alive, one, holy, catholic and apostolic, because the Spirit constantly descends upon her in order to remind her of all that the Lord has said to her (cf. John 14:25) and to guide her into the fullness of truth (cf. John 16:13).
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 8 June 2003)
Through the family and professional life for which you are now preparing, you will take on great responsibilities for the good of society and the Church. I ask you to remember that human beings are of value for what they are more than what they do or what they possess; that superficial goals will never satisfy the thirst for happiness and fulfilment deep within your hearts; that the mission which Providence has assigned to each of you cannot be carried out by anyone else. Listen to Lord Jesus, follow him as the Teacher of life, make him your Companion along the way.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Regina Caeli, 8 June 2003)
Sacred Scripture, on the other hand, connects the concept of freedom with that of sonship. St Paul says: "You did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship", through which we cry, ""Abba! Father!'" (Romans 8: 15). What does this mean?
St Paul presupposes the social system of the ancient world in which slaves existed. They owned nothing, so they could not be involved in the proper development of things.
Co-respectively, there were sons who were also heirs and were therefore concerned with the preservation and good administration of their property or the preservation of the State. Since they were free, they also had responsibility.
Leaving aside the sociological background of that time, the principle still holds true: freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. True freedom is demonstrated in responsibility, in a way of behaving in which one takes upon oneself a shared responsibility for the world, for oneself and for others.
The son, to whom things belong and who, consequently, does not let them be destroyed, is free. All the worldly responsibilities of which we have spoken are nevertheless partial responsibilities for a specific area, a specific State, etc.
The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, makes us sons and daughters of God. He involves us in the same responsibility that God has for his world, for the whole of humanity. He teaches us to look at the world, others and ourselves with God's eyes. We do not do good as slaves who are not free to act otherwise, but we do it because we are personally responsible for the world; because we love truth and goodness, because we love God himself and therefore, also his creatures. This is the true freedom to which the Holy Spirit wants to lead us.
Pope Benedict XVI (Homily, 3 June 2006)
Human pride and egoism always create divisions, build walls of indifference, hate and violence. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, makes hearts capable of understanding the languages of all, as he re-establishes the bridge of authentic communion between earth and heaven. The Holy Spirit is Love…
This is the mystery of Pentecost: the Holy Spirit illuminates the human spirit and, by revealing Christ Crucified and Risen, indicates the way to become more like him, that is, to be "the image and instrument of the love which flows from Christ" (Deus Caritas Est, n. 33).
Pope Benedict XVI (Homily, 4 June 2006)
At Pentecost, the Church shows herself as one, holy, catholic and apostolic; she shows herself as missionary, with the gift of speaking all the languages of the world, because the Good News of God's love is destined for all peoples.
Pope Benedict XVI (Regina Caeli, 4 June 2006)
Lastly, a final thought may also be found in the account of the Acts of the Apostles: the Holy Spirit overcomes fear. We know that the disciples sought shelter in the Upper Room after the arrest of their Lord and that they had remained isolated for fear of suffering the same fate. After Jesus' Resurrection their fear was not suddenly dispelled. But here at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit rested upon them, those men emerged fearless and began to proclaim the Good News of the Crucified and Risen Christ to all. They were not afraid because they felt they were in the hands of the strongest One. Yes, dear brothers and sisters, wherever the Spirit of God enters he puts fear to flight; he makes us know and feel that we are in the hands of an Omnipotence of love: something happens, his infinite love does not abandon us. It is demonstrated by the witness of martyrs, by the courage of confessors of the faith, by the undaunted zeal of missionaries, by the frankness of preachers, by the example of all the saints, even some who were adolescents and children. It is demonstrated by the very existence of the Church which, despite the limitations and sins of men and women, continues to cross the ocean of history, blown by the breath of God and enlivened by his purifying fire. With this faith and joyful hope let us repeat today, through the intercession of Mary: "Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth".
Pope Benedict XVI (Homily, 31 May 2009)
Dear friends, this year the Solemnity of Pentecost occurs on the last day of the month of May on which the beautiful Marian feast of the Visitation is normally celebrated. This fact invites us to let ourselves be inspired and, as it were, instructed by the Virgin Mary, who was the protagonist of both these events. In Nazareth she received the announcement of her unique motherhood and, immediately after conceiving Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit, she was impelled by the same Spirit of love to go and help her elderly kinswoman Elizabeth, who had reached the sixth month of a pregnancy that was also miraculous. The young Mary who is carrying Jesus in her womb and, forgetting herself, hurries to the help of her neighbour, is a wonderful image of the Church in the perennial youthfulness of the Spirit, of the missionary Church of the incarnate Word called to bring him to the world and to witness to him especially in the service of charity. Let us therefore invoke the intercession of Mary Most Holy, so that she may obtain for the Church of our time that she be powerfully strengthened by the Holy Spirit. In particular, may the ecclesial communities that are suffering persecution in Christ's name feel the comforting presence of the Paraclete so that, participating in her suffering, they may receive the spirit of glory in abundance (cf. 1 Peter 4:13-14).
Pope Benedict XVI (Regina Caeli, 31 May 2009)
We find the answer in Sacred Scripture: unity can only exist as a gift of God’s Spirit who will give us a new heart and a new language, a new ability to communicate. And this is what happened at Pentecost. On that morning, 50 days after Easter, a mighty wind blew through Jerusalem and the flame of the Holy Spirit came down upon the disciples gathered together. It settled on each one of them and kindled within them the divine fire, a fire of love capable of transforming them. Their fear evaporated, they felt their hearts filled with new strength, their tongues were loosened and they began to speak freely in such a way that everyone could understand the announcement that Jesus Christ had died and was risen. At Pentecost, where there had been division and alienation, unity and understanding were born…
Wherever people want to set themselves up as God they cannot but set themselves against each other. Instead, wherever they place themselves in the Lord’s truth they are open to the action of his Spirit who sustains and unites them.
Pope Benedict XVI (Homily, 27 May 2012)
The Spirit, who “has spoken through the prophets”, with the gifts of wisdom and knowledge continues to inspire women and men who engage in the pursuit of truth, offering original ways of understanding and of delving into the mystery of God, of man and of the world. In this context, I am delighted to announce that on 7 October, at the start of the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, I will proclaim St John of Avila and St Hildegard of Bingen Doctors of the universal Church. These two great witnesses of the faith lived in two very different historical periods and cultural environments. Hildegard was a Benedictine nun in the heart of medieval Germany, an authentic teacher of theology and a profound scholar of natural science and music. John, a diocesan priest in the years of the Spanish Renaissance, shared in the travail of the cultural and religious renewal of the Church and of all society at the dawn of modern times. But the sanctity of their life and the profundity of their doctrine render them perennially relevant: the grace of the Holy Spirit, in fact, projected them into the experience of penetrating understanding of divine revelation and intelligent dialogue with that world which constitutes the eternal horizon of the life and action of the Church.
Pope Benedict XVI (Regina Caeli, 27 May 2012)
The world needs men and women who are not closed in on themselves, but filled with the Holy Spirit. Closing oneself off from the Holy Spirit means not only a lack of freedom; it is a sin. There are many ways one can close oneself off to the Holy Spirit: by selfishness for one’s own gain; by rigid legalism – seen in the attitude of the doctors of the law to whom Jesus referred as “hypocrites”; by neglect of what Jesus taught; by living the Christian life not as service to others but in the pursuit of personal interests; and in so many other ways. However, the world needs the courage, hope, faith and perseverance of Christ’s followers. The world needs the fruits, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as Saint Paul lists them: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22). The gift of the Holy Spirit has been bestowed upon the Church and upon each one of us, so that we may live lives of genuine faith and active charity, that we may sow the seeds of reconciliation and peace. Strengthened by the Spirit – who guides, who guides us into the truth, who renews us and the whole earth, and who gives us his fruits – strengthened in the Spirit and by these many gifts, may we be able to battle uncompromisingly against sin, to battle uncompromisingly against corruption, which continues to spread in the world day after day, by devoting ourselves with patient perseverance to the works of justice and peace.
Pope Francis I (Homily, 24 May 2015)
The Holy Spirit at Pentecost pours into the hearts of the disciples and begins a new season: the season of testimony and fraternity. It is a season which comes from above, comes from God, like the tongues of fire that rest on the head of each disciple. It was the flame of love which burns all harshness; it was the tongue of the Gospel which surpasses manmade borders and reaches the hearts of the multitudes, without distinction of language, race or nationality. As on that day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is poured out constantly even today on the Church and on each one of us so we may step outside of our mediocrity and our imperviousness and communicate to the entire world the merciful love of the Lord. Communicating the merciful love of the Lord: this is our mission! We too have been given the gift of the “tongue” of the Gospel and the “fire” of the Holy Spirit, so that while we proclaim Jesus risen, living and present in our midst, we may warm our heart and also the heart of the peoples drawing near to Him, the way, truth and life.
Let us entrust ourselves to the maternal intercession of Mary Most Holy, who was present as Mother in the midst of the disciples in the Upper Room: she is the mother of the Church, the mother of Jesus became mother of the Church. Let us entrust ourselves to Her that the Holy Spirit may descend in abundance upon the Church of our time, fill the hearts of all the faithful and kindle in them the fire of his love.
Pope Francis I (Regina Caeli, 24 May 2015)
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Compiled on 20 & 26 May 2018