The news about Jesus, in a language you can understand!

Homily at St Philip Evans for the Welsh-speaking community on Pentecost Sunday, Year A.

The news about Jesus, in a language you can understand!

At the birth of the Church, there was a miracle. God allowed people from many nations to hear the message of Jesus proclaimed in their own language.

I do not have a miracle to rely on! I am grateful to Lorrae, Carys and Julia for helping me to proclaim the message of Jesus in the Welsh language.

Ever since the day of Pentecost, Christian missionaries have used their gifts and talents to take the message of Jesus to the ends of the earth.

Pope Francis was recently asked to send a video-message to some American Pentecostals. He used Italian. He apologised for not speaking English, but said he would “speak the language of love”.

We must be seen to be people who care for others. We must be seen to be people who are trustworthy. If we are not, we will not be credible witnesses for Christ.

The news about Jesus, in a language you can understand!

The language of love is the first step, but not the last. Love alone identifies us as “people who care”. But we are also friends of Jesus, and followers of the Old Faith. If we never speak of Jesus, how will others become his disciples? If we do not promote the Catholic Faith, who will?

In today’s Gospel, we read how Jesus sent his apostles to continue his work. St Paul reminds us that God has given some gift, some talent, some ability, to each one of us.

What are your gifts? What has God given you, to help Welsh-speaking Wales hear the Gospel? What has God given you, to invite others to join in communion with us?

There are few active Welsh-speaking Catholics. Many of you are here attending this Mass. We do not have the luxury of saying, “Lord, send someone better qualified than me.”

We have a mission to help lukewarm Catholics become active.

We have a mission to invite those who do not know Jesus, to join our Church.

We also have a responsibility to help other Christians become part of our communion, though we do not actively target them.

But what this needs is, the news about Jesus, in a language they can understand!

Before Easter, I met with some members of the Welsh-language Mass. We agreed to spend time up until October making contact with other Welsh-speaking Catholics. We need to decide if celebrating Mass in this place, at this time, is what will best serve current and future Welsh-speaking Catholics in Cardiff. This is not about change for change’s sake. It is about the work that God is asking us to do. We will only change if we have a positive reason to change.

After October, we will have decided on this, or another, place and time. Then we must focus on promoting the Mass in the Welsh language, so as many people as possible know it is here. I have already had one offer of setting up a Facebook page in Welsh, but we need to work as a team.

Only you can invite Welsh-speaking Wales to become part of Yr Hen Ffydd.

God has given you the gift of speaking the Welsh language. Jesus is sending you out like the Apostles. The Holy Spirit is offering you heavenly gifts to complete your mission. If this feels like too great a task, ask the Holy Spirit for help. The Holy Spirit can help a small number of people to change the world – and that is what we are celebrating today.

We have the news about Jesus, in a language Wales can understand! May the Holy Spirit help us to speak well!