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A celebration of the Holy Spirit
Bishop Loverde commemorates Pentecost at the Shrine.
On Pentecost Sunday, Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde celebrated Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.
Pentecost Sunday is celebrated on the 50th day after Easter, this year May 19, and commemorates the Holy Spirit descending on the apostles.
The Gospel reading was from John, Chapter 20, “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”
“Let us rejoice in this blessed solemnity of Pentecost,” the bishop said in his homily. He called Pentecost the birthday of the church.
He said today celebrates not only the event, but the meaning of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.
The bishop spoke of the “tongues of fire” that came down and rested on the apostles. In the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke said, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.”
In Christ’s time, the Holy Spirit was referred to as the Paraclete, in Greek “Parakletos” or counselor, said the bishop. The Holy Spirit is the one who comes to our assistance.
Bishop Loverde urged everyone to have a closer and more personal relationship with the Holy Spirit.
The bishop used the words of Pope Francis, who said the Holy Spirit guides us to all truth and “a deeper communion with Jesus, giving us knowledge of the things of God.”
Near the end of his homily, the bishop spoke about love, marriage, respect for life and religious liberty saying we are faced with challenges to our faith.
“We need the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit, especially when faced with ridicule for our faith and its implications in daily life,” said Bishop Loverde.
The bishop said that Jesus told the apostles, “If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.”
The bishop said that Pope Francis urges us to be brave.
“Remain steadfast in the journey of faith, with firm hope in the Lord. This is the secret of our journey. He gives us the courage to swim against the tide. To go against the current is good for the heart,” The bishop said quoting the pope.
Bishop Loverde said we should ask ourselves at the end of the day, “what did the Holy Spirit do in me?”
The bishop concluded his homily with the words from Pope Francis’ April 28 homily at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
“May (the Holy spirit) transform us, confirm us in our trials, strengthen our union with the Lord, our steadfastness in Him: This is a true joy. So may it be.”