Sunday, June 9, 2019
Fr. Kyle
Homily transcription: 

Last weekend we celebrated the Ascension when Jesus was lifted up to heaven.  As a kid I remember wondering why Jesus had to leave.  I mean, couldn’t he just live to be 5000 years old and keep doing is Jesus thing all over the world?  But Jesus is pretty bold in the gospels saying it is good that he is leaving us and we should be glad.  Why?  Because even better than having God beside us is having Jesus in us.  This is what we celebrate in today’s feast of Pentecost.  That not only did God love us so much that He wanted to dwell among us, He loved us so much that he wants to dwell within us.

Children in the west.  Children in the east.

Jesus didn’t really leave.  He did not abandon us.  He is still alive and well doing his “Jesus thing” all over the world… just in a different way.  In today’s gospel we he Jesus speak about loving the Father and the Holy Spirit and says, “and WE will come to him and make our dwelling with him.”  Instead of being alive “among” us, He is alive “within” us.  Jesus almost seems to suggest that, if we even knew half of how great this indwelling of the Holy Spirit was, then we would not be complaining that he is leaving.

So what is this “indwelling”?  What does it mean that the Holy Spirit is sent to us and dwells in us and what difference does it make?  The best way I can describe this is to use the analogy of a stained-glass window.  A stained-glass window has 2 purposes.  Even at night a stained-glass window is serving it’s natural purpose of separating the air outside from inside the building.  But it is not until the window is filled with light that we see the true magnificence and beauty for which the window was created.  A stained-glass window, when filled with the indwelling of light (if you will), sheds a brilliant light and can even tell a story which the artist of the window may have depicted.  The window only realized this higher purpose when filled with the light.

We are similar.  We can be just natural beings like the rest of nature (trees, rocks and clouds).  But it is not until we are filled with the light of God, the Holy Spirit, that we see the true magnificence and beauty for which we were created.  This is what the indwelling of the Holy Spirit can do in our lives.

The feast of Christmas seems to get all the excitement in our culture these days.  And certainly, there should be excitement around the fact that God loved us so much he wanted to dwell among us.  But the beauty of Pentecost is often overlooked.  What we hear in the gospels is that it was not enough for Jesus to just do his thing living around us.  He wanted more.  Today we celebrate the fact that God loves us so much that, not only did he want to dwell among us, he wants to dwell within us.