As I (Peter) began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them as it had upon us at the beginning, and I remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said, ‘John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If then God gave them the same gift He gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?” When they heard this, they stopped objecting and glorified God, saying, “God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too.”
There is a period of 50 days from Easter Sunday until Pentecost Sunday. The word Pentecost comes from the Greek, literally meaning 50th day. Pentecost is a feast of the universal Church which commemorates the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ, on the ancient Jewish festival called the “feast of weeks” or Pentecost (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10).
During these 50 days, the Church in her daily Mass readings invites us to enter into the life of the early Church, specifically through the Acts of the Apostles. We see the struggles and the joys encountered as the early disciples sought to understand and live out the message of Jesus Christ. Within these struggles and joys, we also witness a great unity – where they are of one mind & heart. The disciples come to understand the Holy Spirit Whom Jesus promised to them to guide them into all truth.
This year, Pentecost falls today, on June 4th. Let us take time to walk with the disciples by prayerfully reading the Acts of the Apostles, and praying for an openness to the Holy Spirit so that we may be filled with the transforming & life-giving power of God.
Risen Lord, You promised to send the Holy Spirit to us. Help us to prepare our minds and hearts to receive this great Gift so that we may go forth in Your power and Your love – offering the message and joy You offer to all those we meet. Amen.