Pentecost 2018 Homily
Veni, Sancte Spiritus, Come, Holy Spirit, Come
Reflection for Pentecost Sunday May 20, 2018 by Rev. Robert Johnnene OFM
Mission Sts. Sergius and Bacchus/ Order Franciscans of Mercy
Reformed Catholic Church

“Come, Holy Spirit, come! And from your celestial home shed a ray of light divine!” with these words the beautiful prayer to the Holy Spirit, VENI, SANCTE SPIRITUS, begins. The feast of Pentecost is also referred to as the Birthday of the church because it celebrates the decent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. 
In a homily for the feast of Pentecost Pope Francis began his homily for the feast of Pentecost in this manner; “Today we contemplate and re-live in the liturgy the outpouring of the Holy Spirit sent by the risen Christ upon his Church; an event of grace which filled the Upper Room in Jerusalem and then spread throughout the world”.
A completely unexpected scene opens up before our eyes: a great crowd gathers, astonished because each one heard the apostles speaking in his own language. They all experience something new, something which had never happened before: We hear them, each of us, speaking our own language. And what is it that they are they speaking about? God’s deeds of power”.
The Pope ended his homily with this prayer; “Today the Church, cries out:Veni, Sancte Spiritus! Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love! Amen.”
I say this prayer every day as part of my daily prayer.
God’s word was not meant for a chosen few but for all.
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells us “No one can say, Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13)
It is in this letter that one of the most redeeming passages of scripture can be found. Paul informs us “everyone has different gifts bestowed on them by God through the Holy Spirit.” To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit” “For in one Spirit we were all Baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greek, slave of free person, we were all given to drink of the one Spirit”
The Gospel admonishes us to “Live by the Spirit”.
, it goes further to confirm that the desires of the flesh can cause a breakdown of the graces provided to us.
It is some of those “Desires of the Flesh” that have caused the separations that exist within the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church just as giving in to those personal pleasure desires have caused the scandal that has disgraced so many.    The “Desires of the Flesh” provide us many ways of sinning. They are human faults that every individual has; our task is to try our best to resist their lure.
One thing that I personally can attest to is, if we call upon God daily, or as many times as we need to in order to resist the temptations that plague us every day and ask God to send us the Holy Spirit, God will oblige.
One of my daily prayers begins with “Come, Holy Spirit, fill my heart and kindle in in me the fire of your love so that I might be renewed”  
In John 16: we are promised, “The Spirit will guide you to all truth. The spirit will not speak on its own, but will speak what he hears from me and declare it to you”. The spirit speaks within us always with God’s will and teachings, we need to hearken to what we hear, even when it is opposite to popular thinking.
God is a loving, forgiving, compassionate God.   Jesus proclaimed this by his words and actions so often by relating to all who came to him regardless of their race, creed or sexual orientation.
God is always there awaiting your call. He does not have an answering machine, voice mail, or a secretary. You will not receive a message “Sorry God is busy taking a call from another special customer, please remain on the line and your call will be answered in the order in which it was received”.  God is always listening to what we are saying and will respond to us according to what He feels is best for us. God always answers our prayers, just not always in the way we want, but in what will be best for us.
Many times god actually comes to us and speaks to us in our dreams or quiet times and even sometimes while driving a car, listening to the i pod, watching tv or playing ball.  
Unfortunately, we are often too preoccupied to listen to what he is telling us through the holy spirit.    I suggest that the time is now for us to begin to be more receptive to those calls from god. Don’t put god on hold, but take a break from whatever we are engaged in and listen with an open and receptive heart.
We need to allow ourselves to “receive the holy spirit” so that we can begin to develop a deeper and closer relationship with almighty god and begin the elimination of the “desires of the flesh” that have prevented us from receiving all the gifts of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.   May god grant us the wisdom and understanding and the ability to hear him when he speaks to us so we live our lives with compassion, love, charity and true Christian brother/sisterhood toward all we encounter.