Pastor’s Corner for the Solemnity of Pentecost, Year A, by Rev. William (Billy) Davies



The Season of Easter comes to an end with today’s celebration of the Feast of Pentecost. It is a time for celebrating because it commemorates the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise that He won’t leave us alone as orphans. That He will send us an advocate, a Helper who will be with us forever.

A second reason for celebration at Pentecost is Jesus’ gift of peace. Before Jesus breathes into His disciples, giving them His Spirit, He wishes them peace. Not once, but twice. The wish of peace was a common Jewish greeting of the day but was also a prayer for the blessings of health, prosperity and all good things. When Jesus wishes peace for all His disciples, He is announcing the beginning of new life and the time of fulfilment, a time of life in abundance. Here the Gospel reminds us of the connection between the gifts of peace and forgiveness and the action of the Holy Spirit. Jesus first greets His disciples with the gift of peace, then commissions His disciples to continue the work that he has begun, to continue His work of reconciliation through forgiveness.

The gift of the Holy Spirit not only celebrates the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise, but it also marks the beginning of the Church, the physical and sacramental Body of Christ for all time.

But what should Pentecost mean for us today? Firstly, it should give us peace, that same peace that Jesus gave to those in the upper room. Secondly, an increase in gratitude to God for having chosen us to be members of His Body. Saint Paul reminds us that we who have heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of Salvation, who believe in Jesus and were sealed with the Holy Spirit are the Body of Christ. Members of a missionary church that began in the upper room and whose work of promoting reconciliation, forgiveness, unity and justice is far from finished. Not only do we need the Spirit, but the Spirit of God needs us, His Church, to collaborate with Him in transforming our world.

It is not enough to have faith in the power of the Spirit. Sincere faith must be demonstrated by whatever is needed to transform our Church and world. Our parish must become truly the Body of Christ in which all our individual gifts are put at the service of the community.


Rev William (Billy) Davies