Your Pentecost Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point or two in the sermon you heard for this magnificent Pentecost?

Let us know.

One thing I can share is this wonderful quote from St. Cyril of Jerusalem (+386).

Do you recall that an angel with a fiery sword closed the gates of Paradise behind Adam and Eve (Gen 3:24)?

‘And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 2:3-4). They partook of fire, not of burning but of saving fire; of fire which consumes the thorns of sins, but gives luster to the soul. This is now coming upon you also, and that to strip away and consume your sins which are like thorns, and to brighten yet more that precious possession of your souls, and to give you grace; for He gave it then to the Apostles. And He sat upon them in the form of fiery tongues, that they might crown themselves with new and spiritual diadems by fiery tongues upon their heads. A fiery sword barred of old the gates of Paradise; a fiery tongue which brought salvation restored the gift.  (Catechetical Lectures 17.15)

How personal Cyril makes the event of Pentecost for you and for me, for all of us.

How does the Holy Spirit give “luster” to and “brighten” our souls?

First, the Spirit dwells in our souls and make us His holy temples!

He gives us Sanctifying Grace, which brings also the Theological Virtues, His Gifts and the Fruits which grow from them.

If the Virtues enable us to do what reason directs, the Gifts help us follow His promptings, the benefits of which are the twelve Fruits: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, long-suffering, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, and chastity.

These Fruits are good habits performed under the Spirit’s inspiration.

They make us happy and contented, and help us to be pleasing to both God and neighbor.

Do you and others see these Fruits in you?  Read the list again.

If not, you need to make some changes.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. MikeToo says:

    We went to the Vigil Mass. This was the first Mass for a parishioner who was ordained a few hours earlier. The Mass was con-celebrated by three other priests who were his teachers in seminary. Our pastor, his spiritual director and the vocations directory for the diocese.

    His spiritual director gave the homily and started with a meditation on the definition of gift. A gift does not expect a return but is freely given. If something is expected in return, it is a loan or patronage favor etc. Why would we give a true gift to another? The only reason is love. Ahead and along with every gift comes the gift of love. Now, we give gifts to others to build communion but try as we might we can’t build communion the way we aught through our own efforts. Even in our own family there is breakdown and broken relationships when we know that living in communion is the way to happiness.

    Father went over how each of the persons in the Trinity is given names proper to their own person. One of the names given to the Holy Spirit is Gift. He is the perfect gift of love given from the Father to the Son and the freely perfect gift of love returned from the Son to the Father. This perfect gift shared in the Trinity is the same Holy Spirit that is given to us at Pentecost. This gift comes to us in a special way in the communion of the Eucharist when Jesus shares the gift of his own body and blood with us.

    How do we know we have this gift? When we start to love with divine love. This is something that would not be possible on our own effort. Loving with divine love is the proof (he repeated this for emphasis) that we have passed with Jesus from death to life. It is the proof that we have started to live heaven on earth.

    In addition to our parish permanent deacon the presider’s friends from seminary provided alter servers and a transition deacon. The long form of the mass was read and invoked the Apostles, Saints and Martyrs. This was a Novus Ordo and we had candles, incense, bells and Gregorian chant and Latin.

  2. Adaquano says:

    In between trying to stop my son from ripping apart the hymnal I heard out visiting priest speak about taking the time to pray in silence and the need to not be afraid to speak about the promise of salvation even if it sounds crazy to people.

  3. EeJay says:

    Spoke about how we might pray during week that the Holy Spirit might move us. If I were a priest I’d probably refer to the Saint’s writings as often as I could.

  4. Charivari Rob says:

    Father had a fairly straightforward homily, focusing primarily on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

  5. iPadre says:

    Pentecost is the dramatic, visible outpouring of the Holy Spirit. However, He has been working through all of salvation history. He works in extraordinary ways, but today, He mostly works in the hidden and silent ways – the absolution a sinner, the miracle of the sacrifice and sacrament of the Eucharist, all the sacraments, and in the depths of our souls transforming us and leading us to “become holy as my Father in heaven is holy.”

  6. andia says:

    The sermon today put me in tears for much of the Mass. This was not the priest’s intent – he spoke of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and how each of us has a unique combination of gifts that we need to share in order to build the Church ( in this case the parish) community. He then spoke about the word “yes” and asked when was the last time folks said yes and used that to show how our “yes”-es affect others. He then invited people to prayfully consider the 11 ministries that he needs help in and see if they are not called to say “yes” to serving in one of them. Then then added –almoost as an afterthought that maybe someone does not feel called to those ministries, or that they even have those gifts–he said “that’s ok, you have other and you need to use them for the church”
    Problem is that “yes” is a word for two voices, and the last few times I have said “yes” in the parish I attend… I get met with a resounding silence.

  7. benedetta says:

    We sometimes cling to the notion that we need Jesus in his bodily presence with us just as the disciples, with a certain amount of muddled confusion in our minds and incomprehension, and on many occasions in scripture we see them desired this in His time with them. Yet Jesus told them “It will be better for you if I go” and “I will send you something better”, than His bodily presence, either before or after He had risen. They found this hard to believe and to understand. Sometimes our clouded and cluttered attachments lead us to bar the Holy Spirit admission. When we permit the Holy Spirit room to operate, we receive a sense of God’s ways, His presence, His will for us.

    N.B. My own response is to marvel at the completeness of the journey and road of Holy Mother Church, with the Blessed Mother, beyond even the astounding interactions of the Lord with individuals in the light and days after His Resurrection, that God would send the Holy Spirit upon everyone who would receive Him, and with that, our joy together may be complete. The notion of a Christ who would abandon the vast majority of humanity only after a certain limited number of bodily appearances to a finite number of living individuals is obviously a heretical one and perhaps in the truer sense a bit Calvinist, with the idea that the Gospel is only intended for an elite predestined. The call to the Gospel, and participation in Holy Mother Church, is universal, and as the action of the Holy Spirit in the Gospels establishes, was not intended for a mere exclusively self defined group. Buona Domenica a tutti.

  8. Gregg the Obscure says:

    The seventh and eighth verses of the sequence were expanded upon, then a brief discussion of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Powerful stuff!

  9. Elizabeth D says:

    Bishop Morlino told the Confirmandi they need the fear of the Lord!

  10. un-ionized says:

    Andia, I too have received many noes (is that how it’s spelled) to my yesses. Repeatedly, so that I am changing parishes. But sometimes I found my yes will be more needed in other venues then the parish or even the Church at large. A priest told me that to be the salt and light out in the world is much more valuable than parish work, that often parish work is the plan B for someone who can’t take the heat “outside.” I hang onto that when the noes come flying thick and fast.

  11. Henry Edwards says:

    For our parish patronal feast at Holy Ghost Church (Knoxville), Fr. John Orr’s sermon on the descent of the Holy Ghost was deep and beautiful, even lyrical. As a bonus at the EF Mass we heard the Veni Sancte Spiritus twice—in Gregorian chant following the Allelulia, and in Mozart’s arrangement as a communion motet, plus the Latin vespers hymn Veni Creator Spiritus during the offertory.

  12. jameeka says:

    Father O told a story about a friend of his who was a bit of a worry-wart, and who one day was simply overwhelmed with anxiety. He asked Father for help. Father said, “I can, but it will cost you”. The man said, “How much money?” Father said, “No, not money, but you will have to invite a Guest to your home.” The man said, “My wife won’t like that very much”. Father replied, “No, not that kind of guest.”
    Father said, “I will ask the Holy Spirit to come to you, Solace in times of woe.”
    The man, after some protests about “yeah, yeah, sure”, did ask the Holy Spirit to dwell in him. Much benefit.
    We can invite the Holy Spirit in, as long as we are not in the state of mortal sin, in which case the Holy Spirit also acts during the Sacrament of Confession to restore us to a state of grace.

    After that incident, Father himself started asking for the help and indwelling of the Holy Spirit FIRST—whereas before, he would automatically take his petitions to Blessed Virgin Mary and St Joseph as intercessors.

  13. Mike says:

    The mission of the Holy Ghost in our lives is quiet and simple. He comes to teach us to pray, to love God, and to keep His commandments. Our spiritual health depends on all these things.

  14. sirmaab says:

    Father Jackson FSSP spoke on the relationship between the Holy Spirit’s fiery descent upon the Apostles at Pentecost, and the Introit for the Mass: “Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered, and let those who hate Him flee before Him.” He noted that the Holy Spirit, who brings unto the Faithful the Fear of the Lord, brings therein zeal. Peter emerges from the Upper Room filled with zeal: the same zeal with which Christ fashioned a scourge and flipped the money tables; the same zeal with which James and John wanted fire to descend from the heavens; the same zeal with which Peter wanted to follow the Lord unto death.

    He noted that zeal is necessary in the Christian life. That zeal goes to the end for Christ; that zeal is faithful unto death; that zeal allows itself to be martyred with a smile ‘pon the lips, a glint within the eyes, and a song mirthfully sung before the assembly. Zeal gives heroic reverence to the Lord in every place at every moment, and tolerates not any moment of disdain or disrespect toward Christ and His Church.

    He noted that the world today — and that much of the Church today — cannot stand zeal, because zeal is intolerant. Zeal did not allow those foreigners in Jerusalem for Pentecost to remain in their ways; zeal did not accept the language and cultural barriers that separated those travelers from receiving the Gospel. Zeal compelled Peter to discover how to speak to those men, to speak with them in such a way that all heard their own language. Zeal does what it must to bring the Gospel to all the world, to rid the world of evil. Zeal tolerates not evil, and combats it at all cost.

    He also noted that zeal is not a virtue per se. We must be careful, as zeal is a mode of activity, but not the activity itself. We must be discerning when we discover the virtue to which we give zeal. There are some who give zeal to tolerance and synchrotism; but, because zeal is intolerant, the zealously tolerant cannot tolerate those with defined beliefs. There are those who give zeal to the imposition of theological ideologies upon culture and states, and who are willing to impose those ideas through manipulation, through coercion, through missiles, and suicide bombs.

    We must be zealous with zeal for the house of the Lord; but we cannot give our zeal to anger, to vengeance, to pride, to status. Our zeal must be given to charity, to truth, to prayer and fasting. Saints James and John wanted fire to fall from the sky, and fire they received; but purification of their zeal allowed them to discover the fire for which they truly thirsted.

  15. SanSan says:

    Our beautiful sermon today at the very Traditional Mass @ Star of the Sea Church in San Francisco, was all about the the JOY given to us by the Holy Spirit. We receive JOY, yes the tears of Holy JOY flowed during the beautiful Latin Mass and exceptional latin choir, that raise the soul to the highest degree– especially after the one hour ride getting to mass because of the numerous roadblocks set up for the Bay to Breakers “narcissistic” display of human degradation, that only SF inhabitants can display.

    From despondency to JOY within one hour. Thank you, Holy Spirit!

  16. PhilipNeri says:

    I preached on the purpose and consequence of sending the Holy Spirit. . .same yesterday and today!

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  17. visigrad says:

    simple but profound…we were given the Gifts…do we, or others see the Fruits…if not (and probably not)….get in the confessional…confess those sins and move on !

  18. Pingback: A Fiery Sword and Tongues of Fire: Pentecost | The Faith Explained with Cale Clarke

  19. Nan says:

    Not a parish I’ve been to before. Father said he could ask the children to sing “Happy Birthday” because it’s the Church’s birthday today because it was the anniversary of the day Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to the Apostles. Then he talked about the Holy Spirit and how three things happened this weekend that all involved the Holy Spirit; first, on Friday, Archbishop Hebda was installed; second, his first act after installation was to ordain nine men to the transitional diaconate, eight for the Archdiocese, one for Pro Ecclesia Sancta; third, Bp. Cozzens confirmed 400 young people on Sat., 67 from that parish. Each of these acts brought the person closer to God, whether it was Abp., the new transitional deacons or the confirmandi.

  20. JonPatrick says:

    “Let the word go forth” sums up the event of Pentecost. The disciples unlocked the doors and went forth, going as far as India (St. Thomas). Now every corner of the globe has been covered and it all started on this feast day. However we need to keep this going. The world is hostile but we don’t have to do it alone as we have the Holy Spirit and it’s 7 gifts. Always make room for the Holy Spirit. Whenever the Church goes wrong it is because they have ignored the Holy Spirit and have followed the world. We don’t need to stand on a soapbox – just live our lives according to “the way”.

  21. Sliwka says:

    At the close of his sermon Fr asked us to think about the exchange that is one of the most common between Chtistians “Will you pray for me?” and what can become the reflexive response, an aloof “oh yes I will”. His challenge to all of us was to right then and there pray for the person who asked, and to have the faith that it will be answered right then and there. It won’t always be. That’s Gods prerogative. But sometimes it will.

  22. downyduck says:

    My daughters and I attended the Sunday evening “Life Teen” Mass. A strange admixture of lite Contemporary Christian radio hits, rollicking social justice anthems accompanied by drum kit, electric guitar and bass with incense, chant by our conservative-ish parochial vicar, an inspiring homily on holiness and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the treasure of Eucharistic Prayer I. I wonder what Father thinks of those shenanigans (I doubt he could change a thing lest the liturgical director tell on him to the pastor). Have a blessed week!

  23. The Masked Chicken says:

    “If the Virtues enable us to do what reason directs, the Gifts help us follow His promptings, the benefits of which are the twelve Fruits: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, long-suffering, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, and chastity.”

    One thing that I think about is that this was not, I suspect, meant to be an exhaustive list. Yes, the Church has culled these 12 fruits (12 being a number representing completeness), but St. Paul, in Galatians 5:19 – 24 names, first, 18 (which is 6 + 6 + 6, but is probably accidental) works of the flesh and then names nine fruits, but notice that he does not say fruits, but the fruit (karpos – singular) of the Spirit:

    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
    Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

    When he says, “against such,” it is understood that this is a representative, but not exhaustive list.

    The Chicken

  24. Spade says:

    We went to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC for Confession, Mass, and general hanging out. I love the place. Also, Holy Door (which we almost didn’t use. We went to open another door and a lady standing next to us frantically pointed at the open door saying “Holy Door! Holy Door!”)

    Father talked about how Pentecost was the End of Easter, but really a new beginning as well for us all. And going forth and all that.

    What I kinda really wanted to mention was that (1)the Gloria was entirely sung in Latin and (2) I searched the bookstore high and low for “God or Nothing”. Finally broke down and asked the clerks at the counter. The one I asked said, “I can search our computer” and then the other guy bagging a lady’s purchase said, “Oh, we’re totally sold out of that. It’s very popular.”

    They have a number of copies of all three good Synod marriage related books on the shelves as well in the marriage section. Didn’t see anything by any of the Kasper types.

  25. AndrewPaul says:

    the short version: You were confirmed with the Holy Spirit by a descendent of the apostles who were appointed by Christ Himself…. act like it.

  26. Marc says:

    I’d try to list Father Campbell’s points, but it’s better first hand!

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