“The Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world and that which contains all things understands what is said, alleluia.” (Introit for Pentecost)
The Jewish feast of Pentecost was the celebration of God’s giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai, fifty days after Passover. This is the celebration of their birth as God’s chosen people. In Exodus 19:16-25 and 24:15-18 we read that on Mount Sinai a cloud covered the mountain and the glory of God settled upon it with loud trumpet blast, thunder, and earthquake because “the Lord descended upon it with fire (Ex 19:18).
Ten days after the Ascension, the Apostles are in the upper room in Jerusalem. Jerusalem sits upon a mountain. “And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:2-4)
Once again the glory of the Lord descended upon a mountain with great power and fire to manifest, give, and communicate His Holy Spirit. The new covenant, the new law, given by Jesus, is now written not on stone tablets, but on the hearts of believers.
Just as the Holy Spirit swept “over the face of the waters” in the Beginning (Gen 1:2), in this, the new creation of Pentecost, the Spirit once again arrives as “a strong, driving wind” to renew the face of the earth. In the beginning, God formed Adam from the dust of the earth and filled him with His breath, his Spirit. (Breath, wind, and Spirit are one word in Hebrew: ru’ach.) Today, that same Spirit breathes new life into the Apostles and establishes the “last days”, the age of the Church.
The Holy Spirit is sent to sanctify the Church, to strengthen and enlighten the Apostles and to enable them to preach the Gospel. The Holy Spirit “makes present the mystery of Christ, supremely in the Eucharist, in order to reconcile them, to bring them into communion with God, that they may ‘bear much fruit.’” (CCC 737)
What are the Gifts of the holy Spirit? Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord.
What are the fruits of the Holy Sprit? Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Good- ness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Faith, Modesty, Contingency (Self Control), and Chastity.
Pentecost means that through the Holy Spirit, God makes his dwelling, his home, in us, so that we will become his instruments in the world.
“Through the Holy Spirit we are restored to paradise, led back to the Kingdom of Heaven, and adopted as children, given confidence to call God ‘Father’ and to share in Christ’s grace, called children of light and given a share in eternal glory.” (St. Basil) May our celebration of Pentecost be for us a time of renewing the promises of our Baptism, and accepting anew the gifts of the Holy Spirit so that we may bear fruit and tell others the Good News. May the Holy Spirit renew the face of the earth.
God bless you all, Father Robert Letona