We grow so accustomed to thinking of God in a certain way and looking for God in a certain form, that we often fail to recognize who God really is and where God can actually be found.
The disciples who gathered in the room on the first Pentecost probably had no idea that God would come upon them in the way He did. They must have been surprised and shocked beyond words, when they heard the loud noise and saw the appearance of the tongues of fire.
After the crucifixion of Jesus, the officials hoped that the death of Jesus on the cross would blot out the Christian movement. But instead it began to spread like wild fire.
The Holy Spirit, whom Jesus had promised to send His disciples, descended upon them on Pentecost and had transformed them. Pentecost is called the birthday of the Church, when the risen body of Christ is made visible.
Pentecost was a major Jewish feast commemoration - a thanksgiving celebration that combined gratitude for the year's harvest and gratitude for the Sinai covenant.
Pentecost must be seen against the background of the Tower of Babel story in the Old Testament. After the Holy Spirit's coming, the people who spoke different languages in Jerusalem understood what the disciples were saying. What sin has scattered; was ultimately united by the Holy Spirit.
What the Holy Spirit began on Pentecost was left for us to complete. Each one of us received the Holy Spirit through our Baptism and Confirmation. We received the gifts of the Holy Spirit for a purpose; we are to go forth and preach the good news of the Gospel to all peoples.
We should take an active role on the Church way of preaching the Gospel to all the peoples in our everyday lives.
Let us close with a prayer:
"Come Holy Spirit Come!"
"Come as fire to warm us,
Come as wind to cleanse us,
Come as light to guide us,
Come as power to enable us
Come Holy Spirit Come!
Help us renew the face of the earth!
God bless you!
FR. BEN SIM, SJ
SACRED HEART PARISH
Cebu City, Philippines