A woman at Mass in Milan’s Duomo. Photo Vatican News

By Catholic Sabah

June 1 2020

PENTECOST celebrated with faith in the new normal brought by the pandemic can be a blessed dynamic and sanctifying event, says Fr Cosmas Lee, parish priest of St Simon Catholic Church, Likas.

This year we celebrate Pentecost locked down in our homes, unable to gather and become “Church” (the assembly of believers) physically. What shall we do?

First, we must believe that, as on the first evening of the Resurrection, no wall, no door, can prevent the coming of the Risen Jesus the Bearer of the Holy Spirit to us. God’s work is not bound by His own sacraments (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1257), Fr Lee delivered his homily for Pentecost Sunday online. He added, even baptism by desire is valid baptism.

He underlined, our true life of faith actually begins in the mystery of personal selves under the influence of the Holy Spirit to profess “Jesus is Lord”. No Church gathering, no sacrament, no nothing, can substitute that!

But we need to be honest, proposed the candid online preacher. “Sunday after Sunday, Pentecost after Pentecost, we substitute our personal faith and life led by the Spirit with just “attending church,” asserted Fr Lee.

With forthrightness he declared that the pandemic is an extraordinary gift for us who are “locked down” to take that essential journey not to the building of the Church, but to the longest journey first, into our heart and spirit, and to get into the primary and essential business of our personal, and inner faith and life.

He attested to the belief that we need the Holy Spirit to enkindle our faith, to enkindle our zeal to live for God “We need the Spirit of God to send a tongue of flame, and blow a breath of mighty wind into our heart, so that we may experience a new Pentecost, a new irresistible urge to acknowledge our sins, to seek forgiveness, conversion, reconciliation, unity, and to become dynamic soldiers of Christ.”

More and more people are losing any sense of sin, lamented St Simon’s parish priest. “Some go to Confession rattling away sins with no sense of remorse and of their grave consequence, casually going through the disinfectant confessional box, in case…they go to hell.”

However, he affirmed that anyone who heartily owns his sins and is repentant, God’s mercy and love is always there, boundless. On the other hand, to retain sin is also part of God’s love, justice, and mercy, as a way to warn and encourage the sinner to take his sin seriously, repent, seek forgiveness and amend his life.

He maintained that without the Spirit, there will be no faith, no belonging to Christ in the Church, no ability to move as a Body and to continue the saving mission of Christ. “Our whole Christian life is begun and brought to fruition by the working of the Holy Spirit,” said Fr Lee.

Come, O Holy Spirit, the Power of God, fill the hearts of your faithful, enkindle in us the fire of your love! Renew us on our return journey to the Father, through Jesus His Beloved Son, the Bearer of the Holy Spirit. On You we depend, on You we live. Amen! Amen! Amen! – (Full homily text @ stsimonlikas.wordpress.com)