Feast of Pentecost – May 31st, 2020
In the Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens church in Caraquet
(Broadcasted on the radio at 94,1 fm CKLE CJVA)
When I go to a symphony concert, I like the wind instruments section: piccolo, flutes, clarinets, oboes, bassoon, the double bass, English horn, etc. They are beautiful instruments, each different from one another, well-made works of art in and of themselves. However, without a musician who gives them breath, or wind, they are silent and produce nothing. Without wind, they are just beautiful trinkets, nothing more. They all need wind to be truly musical instruments.
What a marvel it is, when all the musicians blow into their instruments and play melodies while following the musical scores. Each musician brings his own touch, his unique sound, his different tone. It is a symphony. The conductor, for his part, ensures that everyone agrees with each other so that the whole is harmonious.
This is similar to what happened on Pentecost, and every day since, for the last 2000 years. As St. Paul reminds us in the second reading, we are all members of the Church, members of one body, the Body of Christ. Like the musical instruments of an orchestra, we are different as members, with our diverse origins, qualities and talents. As for the wind instruments which, without wind, are useless; all of us as Christians, we need the Spirit of God within us to be fully Disciples of Christ. This breath, this Spirit of love that unites God the Father and Christ his Son, we received it at our baptism and our confirmation.
This Holy Spirit, this Spirit from God, is a life-giving source, a breath that makes us alive. This is what we heard last week. Christ kept his word and sent to us well from his Father the Holy Spirit, a spirit of life, the same spirit that raised him up, and enabled him to overcome death. This spirit is an incomparable force, an energy, a vigor, a power present in every one of us. We may not think of this as often as we should.
This same Holy Spirit pushes us outwards, and sends us into the world to announce the Good News, to evangelize through our words and actions like Christ who himself was sent among us by the Father.
This Spirit is also a fire in our heart, which passionately pushes us to become missionaries, to work tirelessly to build a better world according to the will of God. This Spirit is a light, which guides us to know Christ better and make him known. This Spirit is a force, which gives us courage and drives away our fears, to bring us out of our shells as it did on the day of Pentecost for the apostles, who were crippled by fear.
This Holy Spirit blew upon us at our baptism and our confirmation, and continues to do so every day, helping us to use our qualities and talents to fulfill our mission and service to the Church, in harmony with our brothers and sisters in faith, and especially, with God.
To return to the orchestra example, God the Father wrote his symphony. Christ is the conductor who guides us, and who we must follow. Then, each of us with our own instrument, our own score, with the same divine breath that animates us, we make the Word of God, the music of God in our world, resonate through our words and our actions. We do this by ensuring that we remain at service of the whole orchestra, of the whole Church, in harmony with our brothers and sisters and by playing "righteously", that is to say, adjusting to the will of God.
As the psalms reminds us, “God goes up to his throne. There are shouts of joy and the blast of trumpets, as the Lord goes up. Sing praise to God; sing praise to our king! God is king over all the world; praise him with songs!”
On this beautiful feast of Pentecost, which gave birth to the Church, let us rejoice. And each day, let the Holy Spirit, the breath of God, bring forth from our hearts and our lives: the love, the peace, the forgiveness and the justice of God! Amen