This Sunday is the “Sunday of Pentecost”. The Sunday when the Holy Spirit descends upon the disciples. The feast is called “Pentecost”, as it comes fifty days after the Resurrection of Jesus, and ten days after His Glorious Ascension, this is found in the Acts of Apostles (Acts 2:1-13).
On this day, the Holy Spirit filled the disciples, as they gathered in the attic, it descended upon them in the form of flames of fire. The Lord granted them strength from on high to preach throughout all the world. Today is the feast of the establishment of the Church, it can also be called the “Feast of the birth of the Church.” The Evangelical reading from John 7:37-53.
On the day of the Ascension, Jesus gave his disciples a promise; I will send you my Father’s promise, stay in the city of Jerusalem until you receive the power from above. This promise to his Disciples was to send them the Holy Spirit, as he promised to send them the “Comforter”. “When the Comforter comes, that I’m sending you from the Father. The Spirit of truth who proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify for me.” (John 15:26).
Jesus chose the disciples from among fishermen, they lacked education, culture, and science of that time; but the Holy Spirit gave them wisdom, which was not human wisdom but Divine. “Blessed art thou, O Christ our God, who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise, having sent upon them the Holy Spirit…”
The Holy Spirit appeared at Pentecost in the form of “Tongues of fire”. The tongue is the organ of speech and preaching. It represents that the Apostles had decided to teach the Nations and lead them through evangelization and preaching.
The Holy Spirit gave the disciples wisdom, strength and understanding to proceed to the extremes of the living world for Evangelisation.
The Holy Spirit is the Distributor of talents and power in the Church and it gives martyrs patience and sanctifies hermits and monks.
The Holy Spirit blesses all, brimming with prophecy and completes the priesthood. He teaches the illiterate wisdom and has shown the fishermen to be speakers of theology.
After Baptism, the newly baptised are anointed with Holy Chrism (Mayron). “This is our personal Pentecost”. Everyone who is baptized receives the blessing of the Holy Mayron.” This is the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit. This gift strengthens Christians to walk down the path of Holiness and acquire divine virtues. He gives believers understanding and wisdom and unwavering faith in their spiritual struggles.
Christians also receive the grace of the Holy Spirit through the Sacraments; Holy Communion, the Lord’s blessed body and blood, and through the other Sacraments such as the Sacraments of the Anointing the sick and Confession.
The Apostle Paul says, “don’t quench the Spirit.” In other words, don’t deactivate the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is in you by your unworthy works. We should maintain and preserve the grace of the Holy Spirit that we received in the anointing of the Chrism “Mayron” by measured deeds and when we do this, the words of the Lord will apply to us: “He that believeth in me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” He said this about the Spirit that those who believe in him were set to receive”. Man, full of the grace of the Holy Spirit, becomes a running river, watering others and satisfying their spiritual thirst by the grace of the Holy Spirit that he received.
The Holy Spirit is the (comforter) that comforts us and relieves us in times of need, distress and pain; he protects and controls events, and is the support for the widows, orphans and the elderly. He is the one who inspired the Prophets of old and he gives us the spirit of wisdom and understanding, to Him be glory forever.
Metropolitan Basilios (Kodseie)