Pentecost: Our Church honors and celebrates with great pomp the great feast of Pentecost. In other words, it celebrates a great event, the fulfillment of our Christ's promise to His disciples, which took place fifty days after His Resurrection.
What had the Lord promised? That after ascending to Heaven and sitting at the right hand of His Father, He will send them the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Triune God, to mysteriously strengthen them and enlighten them, so that they may preach the Gospel to the ends of the universe.
Pentecost: What we celebrate today, June 12th
Poor fishermen become omniscient Apostles
On this fiftieth day after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ not a simple miracle took place. On this day, the Lord, by sending the Holy Spirit, highlights the poor and uneducated fishermen to omniscient Apostles, His frightened disciples to fearless, fiery preachers, capable of shaming the distinguished sages of this world and seducing the universe.
It is truly surprising in the history of mankind this unique sermon that begins on Pentecost, the birthday of the Church of Christ, to spread to all nations. Forget the false gods created by the human mind, free yourself from superstitions.
Come to know the true God who became man to save people, Jesus Christ, the only one whose life and action had been prophesied, the only one who lived sinless among us, the only one who overcame death and rose for three days!
The living gifts of the Holy Spirit
This sermon called the Gospel came from the mouths of insignificant, ordinary people, who had no reputation or social standing, no financial means, no sponsors and no personal gain to spread it.
That it was believed and reached the ends of the earth, even though it was literally paid for with their martyr blood, could not be explained if these people had not received the living gifts of the Holy Spirit. This great miracle began today, fifty days after the Resurrection and ten days after the Ascension of our Lord to Heaven.
It started from the moment when Christ's promise was fulfilled, when in the house where the Apostles were, it was suddenly heard something coming down from Heaven, like a very strong wind. And immediately some tongues appeared as fiery, sitting one by one on everyone's head.
The sacred text mentions the adjectives "osper" and "osei", that is, like the strong wind and like tongues of fire, so that we do not think that the Holy Spirit is air, fire or some other material. As in the baptism of Christ it took the form of a dove, so now the Holy Spirit in these forms makes His presence felt.
Immediately the Apostles were filled with all His gifts, that is, they received insightful, healing grace, they were able to perform many miraculous signs. However, the holy author especially mentions the gift of speaking different languages and dialects, because this was the first thing that appeared immediately.
The providence of God
God's providence spared them to make it a day of Pentecost, which was a great celebration for the Jews. On that day, thousands of Jews from the Diaspora gathered in Jerusalem, coming from Mesopotamia, Phrygia, Egypt, Pontus, Arabia and many other places. Of course, all of them spoke their own language and dialect.
But they were ecstatic as they heard the Apostles preach in their own language. They wondered about this paradoxical phenomenon, that is, how while these Galilean men were speaking, each one of their audience heard in their native tongue teaching the greatness of God.
Here we must pay attention to the wording of the sacred text, that they received the gift according to the ability given to them by the Holy Spirit. So he does not say that he made them speak all languages, nor that among the thousands of listeners they all understood what was being preached in their own language.
On the contrary, the text states that some mocked the Apostles, believing that they were drunk. From this description we understand that the Holy Spirit "breathes wherever he wants", that is, he gives his energy as and whenever he wants.
The text also says that they were given the multilingualism to preach "the greatness of God" and not in any other case or for any other purpose. We point this out so as not to confuse the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost with the modern demonic phenomenon of the so-called Pentecostals, members of the dangerous sect who speak incessantly and meaninglessly, claiming to be enlightened by the Holy Spirit.
The Jews of the diaspora then heard the Apostle Peter preach that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah they had been waiting for, whom their countrymen had crucified but had risen from the dead. As Peter proved the Resurrection of Christ with many arguments and proofs, about three thousand were baptized that day.
The Holy Spirit descended on humble people, who showed faith in the words of Christ, who believed in His promise, who had a pure heart, ready to receive the Holy Spirit.
By choosing our humble fishermen to make them universal preachers of the Gospel, our Lord Jesus Christ sends a timeless message to us, His modern-day disciples, who are in danger of the mighty standards of worldly vanity and egocentrism.
It teaches us not to trust in ourselves, but in the omnipotence of God and His holy will. The Holy Spirit seeks in our hearts humility and not selfishness, in order to give us the virtues of eternal life