On the first Pentecost the disciples had an experience of the action of the Holy Spirit-but it wasn’t only for that day. It would continue all the days of their lives, just as it does for us. The experience of Pentecost was a community experience for the early disciples and so too it is for us.
This Spirit’s coming brings about great changes in the lives of those early “inspired” Jews. The ability to speak and understand different languages is only the first. They were enabled to understand and speak to the differences within the human community. As they were gathered together to give thanks to God for the abundance of the fields, these men and their followers were to spread the news “of the mighty acts of God.” Through the Acts of the Apostles, we read of these “mighty acts of God” which present a new sense of Pentecost.
Let us think about some of our many experiences of community: family, parish, prayer group, voluntary group, friends, and the list goes on. When we do this thinking/praying we become aware of how our communal experiences are Pentecost moments. We notice how we are uplifted and consoled by such moments. We may do this reflecting quite naturally with people in our various communities or when alone we speak of them with the Lord.
Today we live again the experience of that first Pentecost when the Upper Room in Jerusalem shook with hurricane force as the wind of God’s Spirit and the fire of His love descended on twelve apostles, changing them forever. As thousands more were baptized that day, the Church was born in the presence of Christ’s own mother and countless other witnesses. Today, through the Eucharist that we celebrate, the Holy Spirit comes again to give a “booster shot” to innumerable modern-day Christians who have been born of water and the Holy Spirit.
Again, we are consecrated in the Truth that God is love and lives in us as in a fleshly Temple. In this annual renewal of our lifetime commitment, our faith is rekindled so that our light and our love will more effectively destroy the indifference and violence of the world around us. Only our fears can prevent the Holy Spirit from empowering us, for He is our “Advocate,” our silent supporter. He will help us to work together with our bishops and priests, our religious and fellow laypeople to renew the church through the Spirit’s gifts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.