9 June 2019. Solemnity of Pentecost
Reflection (Sem. Justin G. Gatus)
I remember the first time that I gave a sharing to the people in the mountains of Davao del Norte. The priest surprised me and asked me to share before the final blessing in the mass. It was a real challenge for me because I was not prepared. Though I knew the Gospel for that day, I still felt nervous because I was not prepared. During the whole mass, while the priest was giving his homily in bisaya, I was preparing for my sharing in my mind. Then it came to a point that I did not know anymore what to share, and so I asked the Holy Spirit to guide me in whatever I would say for the sharing. Through my prayers, I just focused on sharing my vocation story and how God has been merciful, faithful, and loving to me despite my limitations and weaknesses. I shared about how God has been a loving God as He guided me to follow and heed His call. After the Holy Mass, people approached me and thank me for my sharing. They said that it was an inspiring sharing, even if that was my first time to sharing in a bisaya-speaking audience.
Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost. This celebration is special to me and my batchmates in the seminary for it is also the anniversary of our entrance day as seminarians. The Pentecost account, which can be found in Acts 2:1-11, is where the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples which enabled them to speak and proclaim words that everybody understood. They were empowered to speak about the Good News to the variety of audience. In the Gospel, Jesus reminds us of the mark of Christian discipleship—and that is love. And we can show this by giving our whole selves while doing Jesus’ commandment of love through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
As a priest-in-process, the invitation of this celebration to me is to constantly return to my experiences of belovedness while heeding the commandment of God to go beyond myself and love others. It is also a reminder to me to always seek the help of the other Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to always enkindle my life that will empower and move me to do greater things—to follow God’s commandment of love.
The Gospel Today
John 14:15-16, 23b-26