THE FEAST OF PENTECOST 2019
On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended with power upon the Apostles in the image of tongues of fire and thus began the mission of the Church in the world. Once they received the Spirit, they went out boldly and preached to all in Jerusalem and different parts of the world. Jesus himself prepared the disciples for this mission, appearing to them on many occasions after his Resurrection. Prior to his Ascension into Heaven, he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father; that is, he asked them to stay together to prepare themselves to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. All the disciples gathered in prayer with Mary in the Upper Room, awaiting the promised event. Today is also the birthday of the Church. The Church is basically that community and complex of communities spread all over the world which is continuing the visible presence of God and his work by living openly in the Spirit of Jesus and offering its experience of knowing Christ to the world. During his apparitions Jesus gives two gifts to his followers, the gift of his abiding peace and the power to forgive sins. He commissions them to carry on his work, empowered by the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will continue to teach them the message of Jesus.
The feast of Pentecost rounds off the tremendous mysteries that we have been commemorating since Holy Week – the Passion, the Death, the Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus. This feast culminates in the sending of the Spirit of the Father and the Son on his disciples. This feast indicates the extraordinary intervention of God into our lives by which Jesus makes us partakers in the mystery of the Trinity. Today’s feast indicates that it is an on-going reality, which still touches our lives every single day. Let us reflect upon the purpose of the Holy Spirit in the Church. He can guide and teach us according to the purpose for which he has been sent. Through the power of the Spirit we ask for the grace to be forgiven and the grace to forgive others. Today Jesus fills us with the same Spirit to send us out on his mission to preach, reconcile and to heal.