PODCAST – Sunday Readings

PDF Handout – Gospel Text (English/Spanish)

This handout which can be downloaded, printed, and used in your ministry is provided by Bishop David O’Connell (Los Angeles Archdiocese)

Click to access Pentecost-Sunday-Year-B-May-23-2021-EngSp.pdf


Commentary on Sunday’s Readings

Sunday Catholic Homilies

Commentary on Sunday’s Readings

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Bearing Fruit

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf


The command to love through the power of the Holy Spirit God’s love knows no bounds! It cannot be reduced to a particular race, tribe, people or nation. In effect “God does not have favourites, but…anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him”. To concretise these words of Peter, God through the Holy Spirit descended on all the listeners. This entails he Holy Spirit is at work in the life of men and even beyond the borders of the Church. Saint Peter being convinced of this truth engages the Church in dialogue with a pagan family, that of the centurion of the Roman Army.

God is love; he does not make distinctions among his Children. Knowing that he loves us freely, we must love one another equally without any condition; in other words, our love must extend to our enemies. To love is to remain faithful to the commands of the father by achieving the mission of Christ. To love is not just a simple choice, it is a “command”. Jesus is quite specific: This is my commandment, that you love one another. Here He is not talking in generalities. The idea behind the word “command” is more precisely a firm insistence. Jesus wants us to focus on the deepest truth of himself, without which we are in fairyland. An epistle of John makes precisely this point in relation to God: Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. As with God, so with Jesus. The word “command” can at first sight seem so unsatisfactory, it may be hard to find a better word.

Genuine love for Jesus will make us ready and willing to deny ourselves and undertake any difficult mission or task with joy; we are even ready to lose our reputation, risk our lives and die for his cause as the martyrs and the saints have done. Without obedience our love is pretension and without love obedience is mere slavery. Without the Holy Spirit it would be impossible to continue in love and obedience to the truth in a world that is under the power of the father of lies. Therefore the lord promises to send us the supernatural counsellor, the spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit to teach us the truth.

Jesus” love is so intense for us that he will not leave us as orphans. The Holy Spirit will continue teaching and guiding us in the way of love. Jesus lays down his live for us so that we can be able to do the same to our brothers and sisters who need us. The challenge is to live lovingly. Where do we begin? In the gospel passage, Jesus invites us to abide in his love, that is, to spend time with him, to hang around, to soak in his love, to bathe in it – and to let his love transform us: helping us to see, and to energise and empower us to change, to grow and to love maturely – as friends. Let us ask God for the grace to become aware of the presence of the Holy Ghost in our lives and to be open to his guidance so that our life can become meaningful and joyful, full of love to our neighbours without distinction.

Cardinal Tagle

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Sunday Catholic Homilies

Commentary on Sunday’s Readings

LITURGICAL PLANNING: There are several decisions to be made about texts this weekend…The first reading is the same every year, but there are optional texts for Cycles B and C for the other two readings. 


Fr. Vincent Hawkswell |

Forty days after his resurrection, Jesus ascended to heaven. Ten days later, the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, as Jesus had promised. Pentecost is called the Church’s birthday because, as we hear in the Gospel Reading, Christ told the Church’s first bishops, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.”

St. Leo the Great, Pope from 440 to 461, called the Holy Spirit “the inspirer of the faith, the teacher of knowledge, the fount of love, the seal of chastity, and the cause of all power.” Through him “the whole Catholic Church is sanctified;” he makes the Church, “the house of his glory, shine with the brightness of his light,” and he “will have nothing dark or lukewarm in his temple.” (2021)

Click on title to read entire homily.


Fr. Austin Fleming |

On this Pentecost, I don’t hear the “sounds of strong driving winds coming from the skies” and I don’t see any tongues of flames descending on your head – or mine! But I have no doubt that the Spirit of God is breathing in the hearts of each one of us. And I have no doubt that the Spirit gives every one of us without exception – a flame within to stir us, to move us to share our faith with others. And while none of us will leave here today speaking a language we didn’t know when we came in, I have no doubt that every one of us – without exception – has the vocabulary to share our faith with someone in words and in ways that he or she can understand. And I have no doubt that every one of us – without exception – has been given, as St. Paul reminded us today, every one has been given a gift, a particular and personal way to share in the work of the Church — and the faith to say to others, “Jesus is Lord of my life.”… (2015)

Click on title to read entire homily.


Fr. Evans K Chama, M.Afr |

At Pentecost we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. But what’s the Holy Spirit? There are various images that are used to portray this third Person of the Trinity, such as: fire, wind, dove –yet, He’s none of these. We can’t see Him, neither can we touch Him; we can only tell of his presence by the fruits. Which fruits have we harvested to celebrate his presence?

Pentecost is a Jewish feast, Shavuot, 7 weeks after Passover, when Jews celebrated the first harvest. On this occasion they went to Jerusalem on pilgrimage full of joy, bringing with them part of the harvest to offer in thanksgiving to God. In fact, they could not taste of their new harvest before offering it to God. Later, after their return from exile, on this same occasion the Jews commemorated the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.  (2018)

Fr. Chama’s homily is divided into the following sections:

  • How did Pentecost become also a Christian feast?
  • Pentecost is an inward transformation
  • It’s about fruits that last!

RELATED HOMILY: Pentecost A. Enkindle in us the fire of your Holy Spirit

Click on title to read entire homily.


Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino |

Today we celebrate a major solemnity in the Church: Pentecost.  The Liturgy of the Hours provides very beautiful readings in preparation for Pentecost.  I want to zero in on Friday’s Office of Readings.  Here St. Hilary of Poitiers explains our need for the Holy Spirit.  He says that just as a fully functional eye cannot see unless there is light and a fully functional ear cannot hear unless there are sound vibrations, the human soul needs the Holy Spirit to experience God.  Let me flesh this out a bit more.  When I was in college, I spent a couple of summers at a retreat camp in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains in New York.  On days off we often took long hikes through the hills until we came to a small opening in the ground that was the entrance to deep underground caves.  When we climbed into them and kept descending we would eventually find that the floor of the caves was covered in ice.  We were very careful carrying ropes and flashlights, but it was still quite an adventure.  Deeper and deeper we would go, following the ice.  Before we turned back, at the deepest point of our exploration, we would all shut off our flashlights.  We would be in pitch black.  Seriously, we could not see our hands even when we waved them in front of our faces.  Now, our eyes were working fine.  They were fully functional.  But our eyes could not see without any light.  So, by analogy, we can have fully functional souls, but the encounter with God begins with the Holy Spirit.   That is what St. Paul meant when he wrote in 1 Cor 12:3, “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.” (2021)

More Homilies for this Sunday by Msgr. Pellegrino

The Power of the Spirit (2018)
Called from Safety into Love (2015)
Proclaiming Christ to the World (2009)
Receiving and Sharing the Experience of the Lord – PDF  (2006)

Click on title to read entire homily.


Fr. George Smiga |

Urgency is not a word that we normally associate with religion.  Emotional commitment and enthusiasm are not words that we regularly use to describe the way that we practice our faith.  Yet on this great day of Pentecost, as we bring the Easter season to its close, our scriptures are filled with urgency, emotion and enthusiasm.  The Holy Spirit descends upon the disciples gathered together as a mighty wind and in tongues of fire.  Jesus cries out in the temple, “All you who are thirsty, come to me and drink.”  These are not business-as-usual scenes and proclamations.  In fact, the whole thrust of the feast of Pentecost is to tell us that if our faith is going to be real and effective, it must be characterized by an urgency, by an emotional commitment, by enthusiasm.

This can be a difficult challenge for many of us, especially those who have been Catholics for our whole life.  Although we have faith and our faith is genuine, our faith can become like an old shoe—comfortable, but not particularly exciting; familiar but not anything that occasions an emotional response.  (2003)

More Homilies for this Sunday by Fr. Smiga

Engagement with the World (2018)
The Holy Kiss of God (2012)
The Kiss of the Spirit (2006)

Click on title to read entire homily.


Jamie Waters |

Fifty days after Easter we celebrate the feast of Pentecost, which commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit. Today’s readings focus on the role of the Spirit in sustaining the community after Jesus’ death and resurrection, reminding us how the Spirit continues to empower believers today….

Especially on Pentecost, we remember the important role of the Spirit in guiding and sustaining faith after Jesus’ resurrection. The sacraments of baptism and confirmation are also occasions when we receive the Spirit and spiritual gifts are affirmed and strengthened within us. We should deepen those graces by praying for the guidance of the Spirit to permeate our lives. Just as the early Christians understood the Spirit as a powerful force that inspired their work, we too should pray for the Spirit’s presence and influence in our lives. (2021)

Click on title to read entire REFLECTION.


Fr. John Kavanaugh, SJ |

If Pentecost was the start of the Church, it was a birth out of frailty. The believers were huddled in fear behind closed doors. Yet Pentecost unleashed a courageous power. Driven by wind and fire, the followers of Jesus were set loose upon the world to make bold proclamation.

The Spirit brought unity, not only in a shared sense of poverty and smallness, but in the common experience of one God in Jesus, one faith, and one baptism. It was a faith that also put believers in touch with their deepest humanity. They would now speak a universal tongue, in a way which could touch the hearts of people from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe…….(1997)

Click on title to read entire homily.

Commentary on Sunday’s Readings

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by Bishop Robert Barron . May 31, 2020

On this great feast of Pentecost, I would like to say “happy birthday” to every Catholic listening to me, for we hold, in our traditional theology, that Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. It would behoove us on this our birthday to reflect on the nature of the Church.


by Bishop Robert Barron . May 24, 2015

Today’s readings recount the unforgettable events of Pentecost. Language is our primary mode of communication. How wonderful, therefore, that the principle gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is tongues – speech, language – enabling the first disciples to establish heart-to-heart communication with the peoples of the world. The Holy Spirit himself is nothing but communication for the Spirit is nothing other than the love that connects the Father and the Son. When the disciples, filled with Holy Spirit, go out to communicate on Pentecost, they effectively unite the world by gathering what sin has scattered.

Commentary on Sunday’s Readings

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Fifty days after the Passover, the People of Israel celebrated “Pentecost,” observing the giving of the law on Mount Sinai, when God wrote the law with his own finger on the tablets of stone. The feast was originally rooted in the celebration of the harvest. It was on that Pentecost Day that the apostles reaped the harvest of the Lord’s Passover of suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection, and received the Holy Spirit, who writes the law on our hearts.

This same Holy Spirit who came mightily on Pentecost comes to us. The same Spirit is in us, by our baptism and confirmation – the same Spirit who transformed the apostles, who raises the dead, and who changes bread and wine into Christ’s Body and Blood. That same Spirit is in us, and this should give us tremendous confidence in following Christ.

The Holy Spirit, the “Lord and Giver of Life,” brings us back to our truest selves as he illumines us regarding the sanctity of life. The Spirit brings many gifts, and one of them is to enable us to see creation in its proper relationship to God – including the crowning of his creation, the gift of human life.

When we do not have this light of the Holy Spirit, the law we have to follow seems like an imposition from the outside that limits our freedom. That’s what people in the world sometimes feel about our attitude toward abortion and euthanasia. They think we are “restricting rights.” But when the Holy Spirit fills us, he gives us an inner attraction to all that is right and good, so that we do not feel pushed where we would rather not go, but rather pulled by the attractiveness of what is good and right.

General Intercessions

Celebrant: The Spirit of God continues to unite us as a people and enables us to pray and intercede for the needs of others. Drawn together in God’s love, we offer our prayers to the Father.


That the Church may continue to be a bright light of knowledge and truth throughout the world, leading people to faith, salvation, and eternal life, we pray to the Lord…

That the apostolic ministry of the Church carried out by the pope, bishops, priests and deacons, may bring many to know Christ and seek forgiveness of sins, we pray to the Lord…

That there may be a greater unity among nations seeking to halt the threat of war and terrorism, and that the common good of all humanity be served by their efforts, we pray to the Lord…

That the Holy Spirit, who gives Life, may breathe over our nation and create a new Culture of Life that welcomes the stranger, feeds the poor, and cherishes every child, born and unborn, we pray to the Lord…

That this Pentecost may bring our parish community a renewed sense of unity in the body of Christ with all Christians around the world, we pray to the Lord…

That the Holy Spirit may console and heal the sick, and shed his purifying light on all who have died, we pray to the Lord…


God of power and might, you sent your Holy Spirit, the giver of gifts, for the good of your people. We open our hearts that all creation may be renewed by your love. We offer these prayers in the name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Related Homilies website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

Witnessing in behalf of Jesus

Al Carino

Because of our failure as witnesses, the world may be dying from not having life in Jesus’ name. To reverse this frightening development in our day, the Advocate challenges us to stand up and be counted — as witnesses. This is the challenge posed by Pentecost on each one of us.

Receive the Holy Spirit

Frank Enderle

With the coming of the Holy Spirit, the apostles were filled with courage, knowledge, and strength. Peter and the other apostles, impelled by the Holy Spirit, began to preach the word with strength and determination. But Pentecost Sunday was not the only time that the Spirit gave His gifts to Jesus’ followers. The Spirit continues to choose and bless holy women and men so that they may become the new and reinvigorating lifeblood of the Church. In this way, our Church is ever ancient and ever new.

Wind, Fire, and Dove

Antonio P. Pueyo

A good sailor or a good farmer has a delicate sense of where the wind blows. The Christian disciple must also be sensitive to where the Spirit blows and be able to read the signs of the times and the challenges they bring.

50 Days after the Lord’s Resurrection

Jeremiah R. Grosse

Why did the Holy Spirit appear as tongues of fire? Fire purifies, fire cleanses, and fire brings new growth. It is the fire of God’s love which purifies the human heart, cleanses our conscience, and brings new spiritual growth to our lives.

A New Age

Antonio P. Pueyo

The Spirit works with human beings who are willing to be guided by this powerful “breath of life”. The Spirit of the Lord seeks partners in this great work of renewing the face of the earth. A partner of the Spirit is one who opens up his mind, heart, and soul to receive the gift that the Spirit gives. He then uses that gift in the service of the church and the world. website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.


Sunday Sermons

This Week


Commentary on Sunday’s Readings

The following sermon excerpts are from a much larger selection at Sermon Writer website. Richard Niell Donavan, a Disciples of Christ clergyman, published it from 1997 until his death in 2020. His wife Dale has graciously kept his website online. A subscription is no longer required. Click on links to read entire sermon.


Acts 2:1-21

By Dr. Randy L. Hyde | Baptist

EXCERPT: Waiting can drive you crazy. It all depends on what you are waiting for…

the cable guy to come between noon and 5:00…
the store to deliver a promised appliance…
a colleague to arrive for an important meeting…
a baby to be delivered…
the proverbial pot to be boiled.

Yes, it definitely depends on the circumstances, on what you are waiting for.  But in many, if not most, cases, waiting can set the teeth on edge and cause the emotional temperature to rise.

The disciples of Jesus, as we find them in the second chapter of Acts, have been waiting.  Do you think patiently?  I doubt it.  I can’t find any evidence in the New Testament gospels that the men Jesus had chosen to be his closest confidants – those who would serve as the foundation for his new church – had it in them, had the maturity, the spiritual wherewithal, to wait patiently for anything.

Look at Peter.  He could wait on the fish to bite, perhaps, but he got real edgy when Jesus went off to pray and he, Peter, wanted to get on with whatever it was his agenda called for that day.  And generally his agenda was different from Jesus’. Consider Thomas.  One so prone to doubt would not be likely to wait on anything that didn’t carry some kind of empirical evidence to it.  James and John, Sons of Thunder?  You’ve got to be kidding.  Let me ask you this… have you ever known anyone in your lifetime with a flash-fire temper like theirs to be patient about anything?

Click on title to read entire homily.


Acts 2:1-21

By Dr. Philip W. McLarty | Methodist

EXCERPT: Like everyone else, I pictured these “tongues of fire” as little flames sitting on the disciples’ shoulders, much like the burning bush in the story of Moses –plain to see, but not doing any harm. This is how the day of Pentecost has traditionally been pictured in religious art through the ages – little tongues of fire dancing like the flames of a campfire. How quaint.

Then, one day, I had a vision. What if, instead of thinking of the Pentecost “tongues of fire” as docile little flames casting a glow and warming the heart, we thought of them as bolts of electricity setting the soul on fire with passion for the gospel? What if we thought of the whole room that day as electrically charged and filled with a surge of new vitality? And what if we thought of the disciples as shocked, then energized with the awesome power of the Holy Spirit?

Didn’t Peter speak boldly to the crowd? Didn’t the disciples go on to witness to the power of the resurrection and the promise of eternal life? Let’s think of Pentecost as high voltage energy sufficient to spark new faith in common, ordinary folks like us, to the end that the whole world is filled with the radiance of God’s presence.

Click on title to read entire homily.


Acts 2:1-11

By The Rev. Charles Hoffacker | Episcopalian

EXCERPT: Today I would like us to consider that Christianity is as simple as breathing.  In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Several of the most important moments in the biblical story have something to do with breathing.

Consider creation.  Genesis tells us that God made humanity from two ingredients.  One is dust, mud, dirt, the stuff we now find under our feet.  God shapes us from this earthy clay like a kid making a mud pie.  The Creator does not stop there.  God breathes into this dummy made from mud God’s own breath, and the human becomes alive, a creature of matter and spirit.  It’s God’s own breath that makes us live.

But something goes horribly wrong.  Humanity breaks the first covenant that God establishes, is driven forth from the garden, and ends up living and laboring under a curse.  Death reigns over humanity.  And so, for every one in the long parade of people, there arrives the moment when the breath goes forth and does not return.  The breath of life, God’s great gift, seems to dissipate and dissolve.  The body falls into the dust from which it came.

This happens even with Jesus.  There arrives that moment on the cross when he breathes his last, he expires, as he commends his spirit to the Father.  The weight of this world’s sins has crushed him, caused his lungs to collapse, his breathing to stop.  And so the body of Jesus, made of dust like our own, hangs lifeless from the cross.

Later something happens, strange and unexpected.  The miracle of human creation takes a new and surprising turn.  The dust of Jesus is raised to life by the Spirit of God, the breath of God.  The life to which he is lifted is not life transient and temporary, marked by shame and sorrow.  It is instead life eternal and glorious, a life of abundance and victory.  This is God’s second great gift of breath, a breath that will not be denied.

Click on title to read entire homily.

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