HIS WORDâ€¦ PEACE BE WITH YOUâ€¦ AS THE FATHER HAS SENT ME, SO I SEND YOUâ€¦ RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRITâ€¦ WHOSE SINS YOU FORGIVE ARE FORGIVEN THEM, AND WHOSE SINS YOU RETAIN ARE RETAINEDâ€¦
my wordsâ€¦It has been said that every May of every year, the island province of Bohol will sink by two meters because of Boholanos who are working outside of Bohol and even outside of the country are going home for the fiesta celebrations. And in that province, a series of daily town and barangay fiestas will start on the very first day of May until the last day of May. And every Boholano cherish that tradition of the fiestas because of the multiple graces they received from God.The fiesta is even the Filipino way of thanking God for the bountiful blessings of good harvest, of sharing the blessings of the family with oneâ€™s neighbors and friends, and of honoring the patron saint of the city, the towns, and the barangays.
Today the universal Church celebrates her very first fiesta, the Solemnity of the Pentecost. Pentecost Sunday is the last day of the 50 days of the Easter Season. Tomorrow we will go back to the Green Season of the Liturgy of the Church, the Ordinary Time… and the liturgical cycle will go on and on… The Pentecost during the time of Jesus was not a new celebration for the Jewish communities. It was part of the THREE Major Festivals of the Jewish people; namely, 1) the Passover Feast, 2) the Pentecost, and 3) the Feast of Tabernacles. The Pentecost was celebrated 50 days after the Paschal Feast as a day of THANKSGIVING for the fruits of the grain harvest of their lands. This was also the day, 50 days after Jesus rose from the dead, when He, the Risen Lord who ascended onto heaven, sent the HOLY SPIRIT as the first FRUIT of redemption. And the sending of the Holy Spirit empowered the Apostles, the first Church, to do officially their mission of saving the world. That is why today, Pentecost Sunday is considered as the BIRTHDAY of the Church. Therefore Pentecost Sunday is our birthday too because we are part of the Church that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and we share the same power of the Holy Spirit on the day we were baptized and confirmed.
Brothers and Sisters, how do we know that the Holy Spirit is empowering the Church and influencing our life? Some people say that it is the speaking in tongues that the Holy Spirit is penetrating into our lives. But the next question is, do you understand what you are speaking in tongues? Sometimes we just utter words like â€œshalala… lalala… etc…â€ which are totally foreign to our tongue and understanding… The answer Brothers and Sisters is: we have the power of the Holy Spirit when we experience the SEVEN GIFTS and TWELVE FRUITS of the Holy Spirit. What are they? The SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT are Wisdom, Understanding, Good Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord (CCC 1831). The TWELVE FRUITS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT are Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-Control, and Chastity (CCC 1832). These are the indicators that the power of the Holy Spirit is working in us and in the Church. These gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit propel us to our Christian mission. So let us be aware of these powers of the Holy Spirit in us so that we can become true disciples of Jesus and genuine members of His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY PEOPLE OF GOD IN THE HOLY SPIRIT… (ByÂ Fr. Julius C. Lupot)