The word Pentecost is derived from the Greek meaning fiftieth day. For the Jewish people it was known as the Feast of Weeks, since it occurred after a week of weeks (7 times 7) 49 days after Passover. It was also known as the Feast of Harvest or the Day of Firstfruits. The Jews also commemorated the promulgation of the God’s Law given to Moses on Mount Sinai.
The followers of Jesus celebrated the completion of Christ’s work through the coming of God, the Holy Spirit on 120 people in the Upper Room. They had spent nine days in prayer as Jesus had commanded them at his Ascension. It is the birth of the Church. His followers were filled with the Holy Spirit. They were filled with courage and empowered by the Holy Spirit to go forth is great boldness to bring Christ’s Good News to all the world. For them also it meant the promulgation of the New Law under the New Moses, Jesus Christ, to love God and love of neighbor.
A new Pentecostal movement has spread across the world in a little more than the last century. It occurred first among Protestants wanting to see today what happened on that first Pentecost. Since a retreat in February, 1967, with members of the faculty and students at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, the Holy Spirit has awakened a great desire and seal among Catholic across the world to experience this "New Pentecost." It has touched more people than the other 600 renewal movements identified by the Vatican in Rome.
The Holy Spirit has been in charge of the Church since the first Pentecost. Jesus was our first advocate or defender before God. The Holy Spirit is our second one (John 14:16). He instructs and reminds us of what God’s wants of us today in spreading the zeal and enthusiasm of his ministerial / service gifts (John 14:17). We are to go forth washing feet, caring for others, teaching Christ’s message and discerning what we are to be doing to spread peace and goodness throughout the world. This was Christ’s commission. By our own baptism we inherit his mission. The Holy Spirit empowers us to bring it to others. May the Holy Spirit enlighten your mind to see how he is empowering you to bring Christ’s goodness to others.
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2014 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)