As lay associates, sisters and brothers of the Ireland England Province of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary, we are priviliged to be able to offer you some thoughts and reflections on our Sunday readings. We start this sharing with homilies that have been prepared for Advent 2018, beginning with the Vigil Mass for Dec. 1st.  Many of our lay associates, sisters and brothers have contributed to putting together for the first time, homilies which cover every Sunday of the Liturgical year.  We hope that you will find this service to be of assistance to you in your ministry or just as an opportunity for you to reflect and to pray on the various themes that these reading have to offer us.

preach gospel always

4.  All homilies from the 4th Sunday of Easter to the Feast of Pentecost can be accessed by clicking here.
 Each week on a Monday, we will try to post the homily for the following w/e on this Homily Homepage.  (See previous homilies at the bottom of the page)   

 FEAST OF PENTECOST– YEAR C by Fr. Michael Ruddy, sscc

An avowed atheist was always confronting his Christian neighbour: “Take for example Pentecost and the Holy Spirit. You Christians are always going on about what the Holy Spirit does and its role in history, but just look at the world today with all its wars, strife, upheaval and disorder – if your Holy Spirit was so powerful and effective, then the world would be a much different place.” The Christian thought for awhile and then replied: “According to your calculations, soap has been around even longer than the Holy Spirit, but look at the state of your neck.”

A humorous interaction but with a serious point: the Holy Spirit to be effective must be prayed for,
invited, used and allowed to work though individuals and groups. In the Acts of the Apostles, it is interesting to note how much time was given over by the Apostles and Mary to prepare for Pentecost.  Much prayer, praise and the hard work of unity was needed to prepare them both as individuals and as a Church. This individual/community alignment is again clearly seen in Acts, when the Holy Spirit comes to them both as a unified group and individually when the tongues of fire parted and came to rest on each one of them.

So today as in the past, what are some of the issues that prevent the Holy Spirit from fully coming alive in
and through us as individuals and as community? The first biggie would of course be ‘disunity,’ for when this is present it blocks the full power of the Spirit. Like a clot in an artery, it prevents the full life-giving and healing blood flow to do what it is designed to do. Another issue that stifles the Holy Spirit is the inability or desire to forgive others. Ironically, when the hurt is really deep, it is only the Holy Spirit that can break through the protective walls we build around our hearts – but we need to allow and ask the Holy Spirit in to the situation. ‘Come Holy Spirit!’ Likewise, and as in the Gospel today, fear can also prevent the full working of the Holy Spirit. This fear can be associated with a particular experience or incidence or can be an all-pervading fear that doesn’t seem to have an apparent cause. Again, as we see from the readings, the Holy Spirit can through its gifts, give us the courage, strength and love to put fear to flight. Something else that prevents the Holy Spirit from being fully operative is our hardness of heart. Some of the saddest lines in the Gospel, are where Jesus cannot preach or heal because the people’s hearts are turned against him. Again, if we are open to her, we can allow the Holy Spirit over time and in prayer to work her gifts in us so that our hearts can not only soften but ‘burn within us.’ Luke 24:32

I finish with some powerful lines from Ignatius of Laodicea, who compares what life and service is with and without the Holy Spirit: “Without the Holy Spirit, God is distant, Christ is merely an historical figure, the Gospel is a dead letter, the Church is just an organisation, authority is domination, mission is propaganda, liturgy is only nostalgia, and the work of Christians is slave labour. But with the Holy Spirit, Christ is Risen and present, the Gospel is a living force, the Church is a communion in the life of the Trinity, authority is a service that sets people free, mission is Pentecost, the liturgy is memory and anticipation, and the labour of Christians is Divinised.”

5.   All homilies from Trinity Sunday to the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time can be accessed by clicking here.

4.   All homilies from the 4th Sunday of Easter to the Feast of Pentecost can be accessed by clicking here.

3.   All homilies from the 4th Sunday of Lent to the 3rd Sunday of Easter can be accessed by clicking here.

2.  All homilies from the 4th Sunday in Ordinary time to the 3rd Sunday of Lent can be accessed by clicking here.

1.  All homilies for Advent up to the third Sunday in Ordinary time can be accessed by clicking here.