Today we celebrate Pentecost. Many look on this as the birth of the Church, when the Holy Spirit, promised by Jesus, came into the followers of Jesus in a powerful way. Thus began the Age of the Holy Spirit. The Pentecost we celebrate coincided with the high Jewish feast of Shavu’ot, or God’s giving of the Torah or Law of God on Mt. Sinai. This occurred 7 weeks after their highest feast, Passover. The Greeks interpreted this as Pentēkostē, or the 50th day. On that day, as our reading today from Acts 2 tells us, Jews from all over the known world gathered for the holy day in Jerusalem, each speaking their own dialect. Anecdotally, this was also the time of annual trading of livestock in Jerusalem, which was on a major trade route and drew scores of non-Jews to the area. Many of those staying in Jerusalem were drawn to the powerful manifestation of the Holy Spirit, to the sound from the sky of a strong driving wind filling the house in which the Apostles were gathered. All heard the preaching, and people of many languages and dialects heard and understood the preaching and rejoicing of the Apostles, each in their own native tongue! If we read on, we learn that St. Peter turned from fisherman to powerful preacher that day, and 3,000 people were converted to the faith that day! What can we take from this dramatic event?
- That we need to gather together as a church, as Jesus asked, for the fullness of the Holy Spirit to work in and through us.
- That the Holy Spirit was promised and has been given to us.
- That God can work great wonders through His Spirit in His believers.
- That God’s family is meant to be composed of ALL PEOPLE!
- That we are living in the Age of the Holy Spirit and we need to be open to inspiration.
Are you open to the Holy Spirit working in your life? If you would like to realize more of the impact of the first Pentecost, prayerfully read all of Chapter 2 in the Acts of the Apostles, and the amazing first sermon of Saint Peter! May the Holy Spirit bring blessings to our whole parish family.