“When the day of Pentecost had come,
they were all together in one place.” (cf. Acts 2:1-11)
After the Ascension of Our Lord, the disciples returned to Jerusalem full of joy and wonder, because he had told them that they would be ‘”baptized with the holy Spirit” (Acts 15) Jesus had commissioned them to preach the Gospel to all nations, even to the ends of the earth, with the promise that the Advocate, the Holy Spirit would be with them to remind them of all that he had done and taught. While they awaited the coming of the Spirit, they continued to pray together in preparation for the upcoming Jewish feast of Pentecost. Pentecost was a Jewish celebration of the wheat harvest on the fiftieth day of Passover. It also celebrated the revelation of the Torah by God to Moses and the Israelites at Mount Sinai, 7 weeks after the Exodus from Egypt. It was therefore a memorable feast day for them.
On the day of Pentecost, they were together in one place, when suddenly the house was filled with sound like wind, and tongues like fire appeared and descended on each of them. They were immediately infused with the Holy Spirit and boldly went out preaching the Gospel. The people were amazed at the message, and also the fact that each one understood it in their own language.
This first outpouring has continued down through the ages, just as Jesus had promised. The Book of Acts records at least seven times that the apostles were “filled” with the Spirit (Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31:8; 7:55; 13:9, 52)
The Holy Spirit within each of us empowers us to welcome and proclaim to the whole world that God’s Spirit of love as alive and well. God’s Spirit needs us to set fire to the world, just as Marie Rivier’s zeal and ardent love did in her own time and continues to burn in us.
In this time of the Covid-19 Pandemic, it is especially important that we remain open to this amazing gift of the Holy Spirit. We can ask the Holy Spirit for the help of his gifts and fruits that we received in Baptism and Confirmation. As we embark on a very different summertime this year, we can ask the Holy Spirit to help us and the whole world experience peace, compassion, love and patience. We need all the help we can get!
“The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Spirit of God dwelling within us, alleluia. (Romans 5.5; cf. 8.11)
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. (Gospel Acclamation)