We all like to celebrate our birthdays. Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. Pentecost is not a name but rather it is a number, means 50. It is the conclusion of 50 days of Easter season. The Jews celebrated the feast of pentecost fifty days after the Passover. Originally it was an agricultural feast and later giving of the law at Mount Sanai. Now we celebrate the new Pentecost after the fifty days of Jesus resurrection. When God came to Mount Saini, there was fire and loud sound with trumpet blast. In the new Pentecost, there was a mighty wind and tongs of fire came to over the apostles.
There is a Chinese proverb, “If your vision is for a year, plant wheat. If your vision for ten years of plant trees. If your vision for a lifetime, plant people.” Jesus was and is visionary. He selected the twelve apostles and prepared them. At the last supper discourse and after the resurrection, specifically, he talked to them about his departure and prepared for the mission.
On Pentecost Sunday the Apostles first proclaimed the Christian message, they presented the Gospel to people from all over the world yet were heard speaking in their own languages. The Greeks heard the message in Greek, the Persians in Farsi, the Romans in Latin, the Jews in Hebrew or Aramaic, etc. Although the people who heard the message were from all over, the message itself united them into one people. This was and is the work of the Holy Spirit, forming us into One Person, the Body of Christ. Thus St. Paul tells the Corinthians, "We are all different, we have different gifts, we do different things, but we are united in the Holy Spirit into One Body.”
If you talked to Charismatic community, they will be talking about the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It does not mean, if you are not part of the Charismatic community, you don’t have the Holy Spirit. We all received the Holy Spirit at our Baptism and Confirmation. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Anointing of the Holy Spirit takes place in us when we eagerly asking for it. Sometimes we may tempt to think, it is for the saintly people. It is not a wrong concept. Anointing of the Holy Spirit is for all of us to grow in holiness. Jesus promised apostles an advocate, a helper. When they received the Holy Spirit, changed their life, they got out of the fear. They went out to the street and proclaimed the Good News.
Let us repeat Cardinal Newman’s favorite little prayer, “Come Holy Spirit:”
“Come Holy Spirit
Make our ears to hear
Make our eyes to see
Make our mouths to speak
Make our hearts to seek
Make our hands to reach out
And touch the world with your love. AMEN.”
Thursday, June 13th is the Feast of St. Anthony. Please come and join June 13th at 8:10 AM Mass. Because we are preparing to celebrate Eucharist Procession this year, we are not celebrating like in the past. Happy Feast of St. Anthony of Padua!