Participating in Pentecost

2024년 5월 19일

Participating in Pentecost

< Pentecost Sunday >

 For Jews, the feast of Pentecost (which they call Shavuot, Hebrew for fifty) comes fifty days after the first night of Passover. Passover, you’ll recall, celebrates the deliverance of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt. Fifty days after that, Moses received the Law from the Lord on Mount Sinai. Jews celebrate this date because the Law and Commandments transformed them from being a ragtag group of freed slaves into a holy nation created by God to be a light to all nations. This is what the apostles and disciples were celebrating fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection. They gathered in the Upper Room as they had that fateful night when Jesus turned the bread and wine of the Passover meal into his Body and Blood, a living memorial of his sacrifice. At Pentecost, as they listened to the readings about Moses and the Commandments, suddenly the room in which they were gathered shook with the force of a great wind, and tongues of fire appeared over their heads. Rushing out into the streets of Jerusalem, the Apostles began to speak in the various languages of the people gathered there. In other words, the deliverance from slavery and the coming together as a holy people wasn’t just for the Jews but for the whole world. Not just the birth of a nation, Pentecost created a universal church where everyone was welcome, everyone can be saved, everyone can be healed. But here’s an even greater mystery: Pentecost isn’t just something that happened once 2,000 years ago. It continues today!

Just like the sun and the rain falls on the whole world, good and bad alike, so the Holy Spirit continues to consecrate all people to God. We received the Holy Spirit at our Baptism and it is renewed within us with each sacrament. How do we know the Holy Spirit is with us? It gives us the honesty to acknowledge our sins and the courage to confess them. It gives us the humility to apologize to those we’ve harmed. It fills our wounded hearts with peace. We can actually forgive our enemies. We suddenly have a desire to pray and attend Mass, not because we have to, but because we want to. Our hearts overflow with joy. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭22‬-‭23‬. In short, we commemorate Christmas, we celebrate Easter, but we participate in Pentecost.