Feast of the Pentecost

 “I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:28-32).

The feast of Pentecost (Fiftieth Day) is one of the Seven Major Feasts of the Lord. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples. “When the day of Pentecost had come they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed as resting upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:1-4)

In the Old Testament, Pentecost was a Jewish feast which occurred fifty days after Passover. The Greek word “Pentecost” means “fifty”. As the Passover feast celebrated the exodus of the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt, so Pentecost celebrated God’s gift of the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai.

In the new covenant of the Messiah, the Passover event takes on its new meaning as the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection, the “exodus” of men from this sinful world to the Kingdom of God. In the New Testament, the Pentecost feast is fulfilled and made new by the coming of the “new law,” the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Disciples.

The Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit, therefore it existed since ever. In the book of Genesis we read, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Gn 1:1,2)

On the Pentecost Day, the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples as tongues of fire, through which they were able to speak in different tongues and preach the news entrusted to them by our Lord Jesus Christ and bear witness to Jesus as the risen Christ, the King and the Lord.

This moment commemorates the birth of the Church and the coming of the Holy Spirit to dwell in all believers. The scene of the disciples in a room at Pentecost links the commencement of the Holy Spirit’s work in the church with the conclusion of Christ’s earthly ministry in the upper room at the Last Supper before His crucifixion. It marks the beginning of the true service and the preaching of the Apostles and disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. For this reason, the day has a special place in the life and rites of the Church.

As we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, we remember the power which the apostles received when the Holy Spirit descended upon them. The disciples, who were previously fearful and gathered with the doors shut, because of fear from the Jews, and who doubted and didn’t believe the news about Christ’s resurrection, became strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. By the power of the Holy Spirit within them, the apostles witnessed to our Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrection and great grace was upon all of them (Acts 4:33).

This gift is the promise of the Father to the human race. After the Son reconciled the Father with the human race by giving Himself up as a sacrifice on the Holy Cross, and through His resurrection, we are given a new life in him; we are brought back to have life in His everlasting kingdom. God the Father poured on us the grace and blessings of the Holy Spirit, allowing us to live by the Spirit with God while we’re still on earth.

The book of Isaiah the Prophet says about the Holy Spirit: “The Spirit of the Lord, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” (Is. 11:2) The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth (Jn 15:26), the Spirit of justice. He, whom the Spirit of God works in him is fair and honest, rightly divides the word of truth, has no partiality in his judgments and avoids the idle babbling in his talks. The work of the Holy Spirit is infinite; He is the treasury of good things, the life giver. He is the giver of the spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12), He gives words of wisdom, of knowledge, gives words of faith, of prophecy, healing and mighty acts.

We ask the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of power, to give us the power of purity to live as our holy fathers lived.

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