|Sunday, June 12 2011|
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
Many people fail to recognize the significance of Pentecost. With so many feasts and days of remembrance during the Easter Season, Pentecost can sometimes get lost in the shuffle, but I argue that it is one of the more important days to celebrate. What is Pentecost exactly? One way of describing it that I personally like is that Pentecost is celebrating the birthday of the Church itself. Happy birthday, Church!
"When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim." -Acts 2:1-4, NAB
At last, the Helper that Jesus had promised His followers had arrived - the Holy Spirit. As we learn and study the Holy Trinity, much of our time is focused on God the Father, primarily in the Old Testament, or on God the Son through our studies of the life of Christ in the Gospels. Too often, we do not spend enough time getting to know the Holy Spirit, yet He is the One that we are most intimate with. The Father created the world. The Son came to save the world. The Holy Spirit lives with us in the world. In fact, He lives not just with us but within us. He guides us, comforts us, and gives us a personal relationship with God.
As we studied the stories of Christ's life before and after His resurrection, it was obvious to see that His followers simply could not understand much of His message. They followed Him everywhere, but they could not comprehend the depth of His teachings. Only with the coming of the Holy Spirit could they truly begin to fathom the depths of all that He had taught them. Only with the gifts that the Holy Spirit brings could they begin to share His teachings with the world. That is why Pentecost is sometimes called the "birthday of the Church."
Easter season was a time of inner reflection. We spent a great amount of time looking inward to examine our faith. Sorrowfully, we sent Christ to the cross. Joyfully, Christ overcame the cross. Now, with the coming of the Holy Spirit, we are called to share His message with the world. It is time to take our faith beyond the doors of our local parish. God has commanded us to share His love and grace, and He gave us the Holy Spirit to accomplish it.
NOTE: Truly, I say to you that what you read here on this website comes from the Spirit and not myself. All honor and glory belong to God. By no means do I consider myself a gifted speaker, writer, or theologian. Only with the gifts that He has given me can I pull any of this off. And now, as promised, the Weekly Bible Readings will become Daily Bible Readings. Each week, there will be short daily readings Monday through Saturday and a longer lesson (like this one) on Sunday. Thank you for the continued blessings and support.