Fifty days after the celebration of Pascha (the Passover) from death to life, the resurrection of Christ, comes the great feast of Pentecost. This Sunday, Christians all over the world remember the promise Jesus gave to his fearful, and anxious apostles and disciples. Imagine the self-doubt, the wonder, the inadequacy that they must have felt. “Go, make disciples of all the world!” said the Master, and we, like the apostles said, “How Lord?” How? We’re just fishermen, carpenters, fig pickers, and simple folk? “We have no degrees, no university training, no pedigree to the Sanhedrin? How do we accomplish such a task?” Pentecost reminds us that it’s not in our power or might, or strength, or skill that we accomplish His will…
I will send you My Spirit, who will proceed from the Father. He will teach you all things, and remind you everything that I have spoken to you…and you will receive Power from on High – you will be my witnesses from Judea, to Samaria to the very ends of the earth…
On Pentecost the world was invaded by these simple fishermen. They gave witness with their words, and their blood, to their Master, their friend Jesus risen from the dead, ascended into heaven, and they offered to everyone, what they themselves received: adoption as sons and daughters, mercy, grace, and a pathway to walk in this lifetime. A path of holiness that leads to our home, our real life, an eternal life that begins with our death.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful again. Inflame us and send us to witness in a way so compelling and so winsome that our friends, family and co-workers say, “What is it that you have?” “How is it that you find hope to live?” – “I want that too.”
Here is a link to some wonderful podcasts on the Holy Spirit and Pentecost from Ancient Faith Radio. Also a link to the writings of Fr. Alexander Schmemann, a giant among the Churches theologians, explaining the liturgical significance of this feast. Memory Eternal to him!
O heavenly King, the Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art in all places, and fillest all things, Treasury of good things, and Giver of life, come, and dwell in us, and cleanse us from every stain; and save our souls, O good One. + Doxasticon of the Feast, Tone 6
The spring of the Spirit hath come to those on earth, dividing noetically into fire-bearing rivers, moistening the Apostles and illuminating them. The fire hath become to them a dewy cloud, lighting, and raining flames upon them, from whom we received grace by the fire and the water. Verily the fire of the Comforter hath come and lighted the world. + Orthros of the Feast