Writing to the Corinthians, who were being bewitched by eloquence and a rather comfortable way of living, Paul tells them: “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel-not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1Co 1:17-18)
The phrase “the word of the cross” refers to that preaching which makes the reality of the cross present and available in power to those who receive it with an open heart. It is the verbal dimension of the reality mediated by baptism as Paul describes it to the Romans:
“Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? So then, we were buried with him through baptism into death so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father so too, we also might walk in newness of life. For if we have become vital sharers [with him] by the likeness of his death, then certainly we will be [vital sharers] of the resurrection.” (Rom 6: 3-5).
On the feast of Pentecost the Church recalls that, at the liturgy, this invitation of Jesus which, is not a vague recalling of a past event but the making present of the same event. As Pope St. Leo reminds us: “All those things which the Son of God both did and taught for the reconciliation of the world, we not only know in the account of things now past, but we also experience in the power of works which are present.” (Twelfth Homily on the Passion). This same teaching is repeated in the Vatican II document on the Liturgy: "Christ is present in His word, since it is He Himself who speaks when the Holy Scriptures are read in the Church.” (Document on the Liturgy, #7).
When we go to Mass on Pentecost Sunday, pay close attention with the “ears of your heart” so that the Lord can work within you a repetition of the gift of Pentecost. St. Peter’s speech, which we hear at the First Reading, reminds us that: "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth that which you both see and hear.” (Acts 2:33). May all of us receive this outpouring of the Holy Spirit both for ourselves and our families and for all to whom we can impart an account of our experience.