Readings   from Acts 2
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim… they gathered in a large crowd…each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded, and in amazement (among the) Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome…                                                                                       

From 1 Cor. 12   Brothers and sisters: No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.   

Alleluia Verse  “ Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”  Eph.4:20

From John 20 Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”…when they saw the Lord. 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.


Most of us dislike disappointing someone or making them sad. It is true, especially when they are someone who is important or loving to us. But if we don’t like to disappoint or sadden other people, we should really hate to disappoint God.

Disappoint God? Yes, we can disappoint, grieve, or sadden God the Holy Spirit.

I will preach on one verse today, which we heard proclaimed in the Alleluia verse of the Gospel. It’s from St. Paul to the Church of the Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 30: “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”   

While on this Paraclete Day we usually speak of the anointing and blessing coming down upon us by the Holy Spirit, I will use this Pentecost to speak to that of our own cooperation, or not, to that outpouring.  If we offer but a little opening for the Spirit’s blessing, then our Pentecost will be likewise little, but not lot.  If we are not that cooperative, but worse even, then the Word of God says we do “grieve” the Spirit.   Jesus has sent us The Spirit as Inspiration and Strength to us, and inner Love to our souls, and connection with others in God’s family. What a great Gift!

Grieving God or being casual or cold to His Gift does not sound like a right thing to do, now does it?!  St. Paul tell the Church of Ephesus that they ought not offer the tepid response to God, for The Holy Spirit has been put over our life to help us to glorify Christ in all our ways, and we so need to do that.  Life is a manner of glorifying God, and we even have the help of the Spirit to do it so.  We cannot know what it is to really celebrate the Lordship of Christ, but that only when we open to the anointing work of His Spirit in us and upon us. St. Paul said to the Corinthians today in 1st Cor. Chapter 12, too,  that no one can say “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.  So can we proclaim it? Jesus is Lord.  Amen! Alleluia! Is the Spirit backing this praise in us up? Are you ready for more action in the Holy Spirit, even unto the Love of God? Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 30 urges us: (So) “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”   Yes, we are sealed for identifying us as Christ’ disciples, for Holy Help from Heaven.  What for? To have us ready for the final day, the Redeemer’s day of having us back forever in Glory?  Today is a day for God to have our Yes (Amen) to His will to be done on earth, like so in Heaven.

On this particular Pentecost, we need to hear that little Bible verse, of how we are meant to receive the Holy Spirit’s aid in our lives, and if we block or deny or diminish that Holy Assistance, then we are to realize that we give grief to God.  Paul the apostle-pastor has to write about it to them—so some of the Ephesians needed to hear it—as likely some of us do today in this church.

Let’s look at the context.  Ephesians chapter 4 is in the meaty part of Paul’s letter to that church, stating what he believes is the ground rules for the New Life in Christ.  In verse 25, he cuts right in to the point and builds it to verse 30 of how one might see if they “grieve” God’s Spirit.

VERSE 25  His points for the New Life to be lived….

25Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, for we are members one of another.   Meaning: Are we living in God’s truth, for real, and do we uphold truth in the Church or compromise it in some places? But aren’t all of us supposed to stand strong for all the truth, the whole truth, so help us God? Do any of us present falsehood of ourselves, or do we think falsely that Christianity is much the independent thing—not about membership to one another in Christ?  A sad thing, again, to the Holy Spirit, if that’s the case.

Verses 26 and 27 and 28  Be angry but do not sin;  do not let the sun set on your anger, and do not leave room for the devil…. rather, labor, doing honest work with [your own] hands, so that you may have something to share with someone in need.

Meaning: There is a lot of sin and deceit in the world, and it is making for a lot of angry people, don’t you know? The devil plays with what we give him—but Paul says that honest, hard-working, charitable people can have us overcome temptations in our way.  What temptations? Paul says in verse 29 and 31 that

29 No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear.

31 All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice.    So if we think we can get by on self-reliance and just our own good works, we are wrong, and such a practice or viewpoint grieves God! Fury, anger, shouting, reviling and just being bad is upsetting for God to see taking place with His own people.  We are not to be of the world!

Verse  30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.    Right! *

Now Paul adds a bit more to the scorecard, for us to check things thoroughly, and to see that we are living in The Spirit:  Verse 32 concludes the exhortation that we “be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.              ===================================================

Ok present church —-how did you do on this Pentecost checklist, courtesy of a few bible verses in Ephesians 4, and namely one—do you bless The Spirit or grieve Him?  Honor Him gladly, or said differently and pointedly, sadden Him?

Are you known for edifying and spreading the Good of the Lord forth in your life?   Or giving a good witness of God in your life, and that you worship the Lord? I hope so. But this is a total call, and in all truthfulness, not playing the worldly  game of self-first, me first living. We are to live to the utmost pleasure of God!

We are to take this witness and the Good News to the ends of the earth and end of time.  There is so much good and blessing to be lived via you by the Spirit in you. As a verse in Galatians’ epistle defines it: You are a temple of the Holy Spirit.”

Pray today for the release of the Spirit from any holding back you might have going on.  As He lives in you, He will guide you and I, us all, to become holy, as in living in God’s company and family now.

Yes, the list of Ephesians 4 sounds like a guide for Confession.  It truly is meant to shed light on the fact how we need to bow down to Our Lord and depend on His Grace, and use the Sacraments so given for heavenly aid, healing and ongoing conversion work in us and unto the whole body of believers.  We offer opportunity here for Confession on all Fridays for three hours and on First Saturdays and First Wednesdays at Riderwood.

We are the Church.  This is our birthday: Pentecost.  We have a new life to live.

Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 30  do not grieve but rather celebrate and please the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

In comparing it to a modern situation–This phrase sounds a bit like not wanting to let your mother down, that you’re good on your word to her. Thus–Don’t be a worrisome grief on her—it’s not what sons or daughters are meant to give their mom.

This phrase sounds like in not wanting to let the team down, not by our lack of effort or caring or cooperating.  We need not be the weakness of the team, that to grieve or sadden or disappoint or discourage the others.  We need to be a reliable honest disciple of Christ, empowered by His Spirit.

I will finish by reading the Ephesians 4:30 verse again, but proclaiming it by various Bible translations—which might bring out something for you to ponder in how they each say it. We had been using the NAB Catholic Bible so far….
New Living Translation And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

GOD’S WORD® Translation
Don’t give God’s Holy Spirit any reason to be upset with you. He has put his seal on you for the day you will be set free [from the world of sin].

Good News Translation
And do not make God’s Holy Spirit sad; for the Spirit is God’s mark of ownership on you, a guarantee that the Day will come when God will set you free.

Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God: whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption.
The Fr. Barry Version And do not be so foolishly willing to grieve the Holy Spirit—the One Who has sealed you for a destiny of Eternal Return to God—it is like flippantly misplacing your passport to Heaven.  Or turning off your souls GPS.

The New Revised Standard Catholic Version Bible

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. “

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