Fr. Mark’s Homily: Outdoor Family Mass (Pentecost)

Posted on May 24, 2021 by Published by

Our Lady of the Wayside’s Outdoor Family Mass of Joy and Thanksgiving delivered on its theme, thanks to the Holy Spirit, our Holy Mother, our priests, deacons, musicians, staff, many volunteers, and PARISHIONERS who attended.  The Holy Spirit was with all in this joyous celebration! Thought we’d share Father Mark Augustine’s Spirit-filled homily for all to enjoy. Thank you Father Mark for delivering such a wonderful homily!

Father Mark Augustine’s Homily: Pentecost Sunday
OLW Outdoor Family Mass of Joy and Thanksgiving, 11:30 am

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

This is one of my favorite prayers of our faith.  Lord, send forth your spirit.  Enflame our hearts.  Renew us; enlighten us; help us to be wise and enjoy the presence of God in our lives.  That is what we celebrate today on the Feast of Pentecost.  The Lord has sent us an Advocate, a Guide, and Helper, a Sanctifier.  God himself.  The Holy Spirit is the one who has led and formed the Church.  More than that, he has sustained the Church from its very beginning to this very moment.  The Holy Spirit is the one can inspire us – who can allow us to hear God’s voice, and it is truly wonderful.

May the Holy Spirit truly enter into our lives.  May our hearts be set on fire with love for God and love for others.  May we be truly enflamed with that burning desire to see and experience God – not just here at Mass – but in everything we do.  Entrust yourself today to the Holy Spirit.  Freely give yourself over to his wisdom and love.  Let it lead you down the path that has been prepared for you.  This is how we become holy.  This is how we become saints.  This is why we are here today.  Make no mistake about that.

How will you let the Holy Spirit form and guide you today?  If there are any obstacles in your heart from following God – hand it over to him today.  Bring yourself, as you are, before God and allow the Holy Spirit to melt away anything that keeps you from loving him fully.  Let you heart be set on fire.  To live and move and act at all times in God’s greatness, mercy, and peace.  Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

You shall renew the face of the earth.  Doesn’t that sound marvelous?  I think the face of the earth right now, after these last 15 months especially, needs to be renewed.  We need new life, new hope, and a new direction as we continue to see things open and hopefully not slide backwards in any way.  But… we need to be renewed in the right way – renewed in God’s way – renewed in his love. Since the pandemic began, well probably a few months into it, actually about this time a year ago, I have been telling people that we need a new Pentecost.  We need a sending forth of the Spirit that will enliven us.  Something that will give us strength and courage not just to go out into the world and enjoy life once again but allow us to go forth with the greatness of God leading us.

The Holy Spirit of God has done it before, and he can and will do it again.  As faithful followers, we should not doubt this.  But we should pray for this to happen, believe it will occur, and go forward strengthened and empowered by the amazing love of God.  Just imagine how our world could be renewed in this way.  Wouldn’t that be remarkable to behold?  And don’t we want to be a part of that?

On that very first Pentecost – the 11 Apostles, along with the Blessed Mother, were gathered in the upper room.  The same room they were in where Jesus Christ instituted the Eucharist.  The same room where he ordained the first priests and bishops of the Church.  The same room where the forgiveness of our sins was established.  In this place the Holy Spirit was sent down upon them in tongues of fire granting them his seven gifts.  If you’re counting, that’s four of our sacraments established in that same place.  And what happened next?  The Apostles went out into the world.

The went to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ.  His mercy, his healing, his grace.  The fact that he died out of love for us in order to bring us back into God’s life and grace.  They did not just go out into the world to enjoy life once more, as many of us are expectantly hoping for.  Rather, they went forth., strengthened by the Holy Spirit to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.  We have received the same gifts of the Holy Spirit.  We too have been given that ability to shout from the rooftops about all that has taken place.

As we venture forth into the world once more.  As normalcy returns, and let’s all be honest, hopefully stays, there is something we should be striving after.  It is not just about normalcy.  I don’t want things to return to normal, and we all know there’s going to be a new normal, yes.  Instead, I want things and life and our world to become extraordinary. Life with God is not about being normal.  That’s boring and mundane, which God never is.  Life with God is truly being enlivened, in letting our hearts be set aflame, and wanting to the world know it, and to share in it.  That is what Pentecost is about.  That is precisely what we celebrate here today.

Wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, fear and reverence of the Lord and piety.  The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit given to us in confirmation to be used.  When God gave each one of those gifts, they were given to be cherished, to be used, and to be shared.  God has given us the gifts of life itself.  And unlike a giftcard or that gift we get that goes on a shelf and we promptly forget about it, these gifts can never expire or run out.  We will never use up all of the wisdom or understanding or counsel that God has gifted us with.  In fact, the more we use those gifts, the more we will get out of them.

I wasn’t kidding when I said we need a new Pentecost.  We need that renewal in our world today.  The remarkable thing about all of this is, however, that we have already received the gifts to make it happen.  How are you using your gifts?  How are you allowing God to form, mold, and guide you in your life?  As the world opens up again, how are you bringing the love of God with you, out into that same world?

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth

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