THE PENTECOST DAY – Homily by Metropolitan Jonah Lwanga

Biblical readings (AC 2:1-11 , JN 7:37 – 52, 8:12)

“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice. Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believe in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. 39 By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. For, up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. 40 On hearing his words, some of the people said. Surely this man is the Prophet. 41 Others said, He is the Messiah. Still others asked, How can the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived? 43 Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 44 Some wanted to seize Him, but no one laid a hand on Him. 45 Finally, the temple guards went back to the Chief Priests and the Pharisees, who asked them. Why did you not bring Him in? 46 No one ever spoke the way this man does, the guards replied. 47 You mean he has deceived you also, the Pharisees retorted. 48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the Law – there is a curse on them. 50 Nicodemos, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked: 51 Does our Law condemn a man without first hearing him, to find out what he has been doing? 52 They replied, Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come from Galilee….8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said: I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”.

The Pentecost day of this year, for the East, has fallen 18 days after the commemoration of our Ugandan Martyrs, who were persecuted because of their constant faith, in the Lord Christ as Son of God the Father and Master of eternal life. “Pentecost Day”, as you are aware, means the fiftieth day when we count the days from the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In accordance to the Jewish tradition in the OT, this was “the last, the most important day of the festival” (Ex 23:16, Lev 23:16), known and referred to with various names: i) Feast of Harvest, ii) Feast of (7) weeks, iii) Feast of Unleavened Bread, iv) Feast of Tabernacles. In the Christian world of the NT, through our Lord Jesus Christ, this feast was elevated to the Feast of Resurrection (Passover), which ends with the Feast of the Holy Spirit appearance (Ac 2:1-11).

In the passage today, Jn 8:12 provokes the Pharisees (and the similar persons) to uplift their mind in all spiritual matters. The Lord Christ, as Word the Son of God, is also the Master of everything… Find and read carefully all the sermons read today in the vespers of the Holy Spirit. Generally speaking, spiritual light is necessary, so as humans to find and live in the right way. Otherwise, humans live in spiritual darkness!

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