Homily – Pentecost

On this Pentecost Sunday, I’m going to ask you two questions. Well, maybe three, but we’ll see how it goes. Number one, first question. What is the greatest lie that we have been told? Now we’ve been told a lot of lies, and perhaps someone has accused me of stretching the truth a bit. But it’s the truth stretched a bit.

Well, what is the greatest lie we have been told? Well, it’s really very simple. The greatest lie is that we are not holy. We baptized in faith. Are God’s holy people, and we are called to that universal holiness that comes from the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And anyone who says we cannot be holy simply isn’t telling the truth.

So that’s the greatest lie that we have ever been told. Now that conquest, has anyone have the opportunity of seeing the movie Cabrini? Has anyone seen Cabrini? I was hoping for at least one, but we’ll go. It is a movie about Saint Francis Cabrini. And not only is it a religious movie, but it is also just a really well-done movie about life here in New York and the first part of the 20th century, and especially about immigrant life here in New York City in the first part of the 20th century.

The ups, the downs, the trials, the prejudice, the segregation. Everything is very realistically portrayed and the experience of an immigrant woman who was sent by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel. Where here in downtown Brooklyn, Mother Cabrini opened the house and lived right down there on Columbia Street and walked the streets of Brooklyn that we walked every day.

So she isn’t some far off distant saint made out of plaster in Paris. She is a very real woman of the 20th century who was called to holiness. So I am going to tweak the question a bit. So women, how many of you are women of the 20th century call to holiness? Which means, yes, I’m asking you to declare your age kind of.

But in truth, there are women in our midst of the 20th century call to holiness. There are immigrant women of the 20th century call to holiness, and there are immigrant women of the 20th century called to proclaim the gospel right here in our midst in Brooklyn. And they live the same call to holiness, holiness in the Holy Spirit.

Their friend, Justice Cabrini, live. Isn’t it amazing that in today’s gospel. Excuse me, today’s first reading, we hear about that call to holiness expressed in different languages. On April 20th, we hear in the Diocese of Brooklyn had the opportunity of gathering at Louis Armstrong Stadium, where the first reading was proclaimed in Chinese. The second reading was proclaimed in Spanish.

The gospel was read in English. A Caribbean group presented the gifts at the presentation right? People from literally all over the world gathered at Flushing Meadow to proclaim the spirit of truth in the Eucharist. Here in Brooklyn. Holiness exists in Brooklyn. No matter what anyone says, it’s a lie if they don’t say we are a holy people because we are.

And that’s what we celebrate. And that’s weekend. And we as the people of Brooklyn, are going to greet the Eucharist at the Brooklyn Bridge. The what can be more Brooklyn than the Brooklyn Bridge? Well, maybe Nathan’s hot dog, but again, different story up the Brooklyn Bridge. We are going to gather to greet the Eucharist and process to Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church, our sister church, and in Lebanese Greet.

The Eucharist. And then we’re going to walk to Saint Joseph’s Co-Cathedral, where in Spanish we will greet the Eucharist. We are a Pentecost diocese. We are a Pentecostal church. The next day, Memorial Day, we will walk through the streets of Brooklyn with the Eucharist to Cabrini Park, past the wall mural dedicated to Francesca Cabrini. We will walk the streets where that holy woman of the 20th century walked.

Holy women of the 20th century. Will you walk with Jesus? That’s Monday morning. You don’t have to do all the walk. Part of it is great. Then we will walk throughout the streets proclaiming the truth of who we are. God’s holy people. Because that was the promise of the gospel. It was the promise of the Second Lady. Were each and every one of us gifted in the spirit, is called to use our gift to make the Eucharist present in the world.

And that’s what we’re going to do starting at 7 a.m. with Mass at Saint James Cathedral and then spreading out throughout Brooklyn to tell the world we are a people filled with truth and faith and holiness on the streets where a saint walked and lived and had ministered. And that is truly amazing. So the next time someone says you’re not holy, what are you going to say?

Yes, I am, try that again. Are you holy? Wow. I hope when you see Jesus face to face, you convince him a little more. So we’re going to try it one more time. Are you holy? You are even better. But you still haven’t convinced me. You believe the work on that every day, in little ways, we are called to holiness by doing great things.

Francesca Cabrini was a missionary. We’re called to do little things with great holiness on the streets of Brooklyn. In the name of the Eucharist, raised in the spirit. Our call today is to be on the streets of Brooklyn in holiness and make it happen.