Pentecost & the Fire of the Holy Spirit

And when the days of Pentecost were accomplished, the disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them cloven tongues of fire, and it sat upon each of them: and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost

—Acts 2:1-4

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The days of the Jewish Pentecost, the celebration of God giving the Ten Commandments to Moses, were accomplished. Christ promised to return, and He did. He promised to send the Holy Ghost which fulfilled the prophecy of Joel 500 years before the birth of Christ: “And it shall come to pass after this, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh.” Yet, listen, for there is soon to be a new Pentecost that will surpass the old, a sound from heaven as a mighty wind and, cloven tongues of fire! What does this portend?

 

The Holy Ghost moves where He will. Sometimes in silence as he overshadowed the Blessed Virgin, or as a whisper to Elijah, but not this time. This is a clarion call for the 120 disciples, the Church Militant, to go forth and evangelize the world. The “tongues” of divine fire demonstrate that the disciples must now go forth and preach the Word. Their spoken words must represent and imitate The Incarnate Word. This will be accomplished by their evangelizing all who have ears to listen. And the fire is the ardent charity that consumes their hearts. St. Gregory writes in Homily 30, “The Holy Ghost Himself is Charity.” I say “ardent” because it comes from the Latin “ardor” which means “to burn with intense heat and emotion.” Christ Himself said in Luke 12:49, “I am come to send fire on the earth.” The disciples are filled with this holy fire to preach the Word and many will die fulfilling their mission. The disciples now understand that God is in all living things—and intimately so. St. Peter, himself, is transformed from a clumsy, impetuous fisherman into a “compleat angler” of souls. Three thousand souls convert after his first sermon!

 

We are near the end of a year-long winter of isolation from our families, friends, and fellow workers. Even our Eucharistic communion with God was halted for a time. Our hearts and souls may have grown cold and lifeless. But this Pentecost should be embraced as a sign of a new spiritual birth; a veritable renaissance after this “dark night” of fear, solitude, and confusion. We as Catholics should see this Pentecost as a new springtime in our spiritual lives to be missionary once again, to go forth and spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Just as it was accomplished 2000 years ago by the 120 disciples, we must be a witness for those who feel abandoned, lost, or betrayed and have become cynical or indifferent.

 

Will you join us in bringing the Word and the warmth—even the fire—of God’s love to a world thirsting for His truth and mercy?

 

DavidDean

Mr. David Dean

Mr. David Dean serves the Diocese of Tulsa as the Superintendent for Catholic Schools in Eastern Oklahoma, and is an affiliate Latin tutor for the Alcuin Institute for Catholic Culture

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