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Image attribution: Pentecost 33 - The Holy Spirit @ www.flickr.com
I wish we could all step back and really take a second and think about the significance of this awesome feast of Pentecost. As Father Jerry Bednar, our Associate Pastor, says so aptly, it is the day that "Christianity went public." I love this!
The Holy Spirit literally "lit a fire" under the Apostles (well, I guess over the Apostles would be more accurate) who had been told by Christ to remain in Jerusalem until the Paraclete returned. Their response ignited the Christian faith in the city streets, blazing the trail for all Christians until eternity. This is part of OUR history.
So on fire with the Holy Spirit were His followers that for the rest of their lives nothing could stop them. In fact, it is precisely this undeterred tenacity that has brought several historians to admit their conclusion that the Resurrection must indeed have occurred. To them, no logical explanation can be unearthed as to why each and every Apostle and closest disciple (with the exception of Judas, of course), spent the rest of their lives in complete devotion to the task of spreading the Christian faith, fully aware of the immense risks and danger involved, most of them ultimately giving their lives for Christ. Add to that the extraordinary growth of the faith among Jews and Gentiles alike that continued to accelerate at lightning speed - well, no other deductions (barring a "crazy, fanatical worship epidemic") could be found likely.
The power of the Holy Spirit overflowing upon Jerusalem through Christ's followers that day did not end when the last original Pentecost participant perished. Like ripples on a pond, it flowed outward upon all nearby, continually empowering new followers and saints as history progressed.
We are part of that history. We are the newly empowered followers, called to be both proteges and conductors of the Love of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit continues to infuse Himself into our lives, into our very souls, as He draws us to Himself.
This is how lives are changed and brought to Christ. This is how saints are formed. I am so excited to be able to celebrate this history-changing day!
Pentecost - the day WE went public! Let's not be afraid to herald the news!!
Come Holy Spirit!
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May your Lent be truly fruitful and fill you with longing for His Resurrection!
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