Today we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost – the day the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles in the Upper Room and the day in which the Church was started.
In the Upper Room, Christ tells the Apostles, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you”. He starts off with “Peace be with you” because it is God who brings peace to our hearts. Christ follows that invocation of peace with a challenging call: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Well Christ just suffered immensely as part of the mission He was called to. Is He telling the Apostles, and in turn us, that He is calling them to suffer? Yes! But He is also telling them that the Holy Spirit will be with them and will provide them with the courage and strength necessary to carry out their mission. The suffering the Apostles, and we, will endure is in the name of God. God would not leave us alone; He would not call us to something of which we are incapable. He calls us because He knows we are capable of rising to the challenge of bringing more people into the body of Christ.
I love today’s readings from Acts and from 1 Corinthians because they both bear witness to the universality of the Church. St. Paul tells the Corinthians, “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit”. When Jesus sends the Apostles out into the world, He does not intend for them to only spread the Gospel to one particular group of people. Rather, He wants the Gospel to be spread to all peoples. In Acts we hear the story of the Apostles preaching to the people of Jerusalem and being heard in many different languages. These two readings show us that the message and mission of Christ belongs to all people.
So, what does Pentecost mean for us today? St. John Paul the Great said, “The Church of Christ is always, so to speak, in a situation of Pentecost; she is always gathered in the Upper Room in prayer, and at the same time, driven by the powerful wind of the Spirit, she is always on the streets preaching”. In the same way the Holy Spirit entered the hearts of the Apostles, we too must allow the Holy Spirit to enter our hearts in order that we can go forth spreading the light of Christ. It is our mission to share that message of Christ to all those we encounter.
Please pray for our son, Theophilus Mark, who will be baptized and welcomed into the Church today!
Dakota lives in Denver, CO with her husband, Ralph, and their two sons, Alfie & Theophilus. She is the Dean of Enrollment Management for Bishop Machebeuf High School where her husband also teaches. You can find Dakota at the zoo or a brewery with her family or with her nose in a book at home. For more of Dakota’s writing check out https://dakotaleonard16.blogspot.com/
Feature Image Credit: smendocci, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/12841-buen-consolador