Sunday Gospel Thoughts-Pentecost Sunday- Fr. Jack Mattimore

Sunday Gospel Thoughts for Pentecost

What a wonderful feast Pentecost is!  Hearing the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we celebrate and remember when the Holy Spirit descended upon the followers of Jesus as they prayed in Jerusalem with tongues of fire, uniting them with each other and giving them power to preach the gospel – the good news – to all who listened to them.   There were Jews who spoke different languages who understood what was being said and thousands of them were converted to Jesus that day.

We forget sometimes that our Christians holy days correspond to Jewish holy days.  It was during the Feast of Passover as the Jewish people remembered that God saved them from slavery and led them to the Promised Land that Jesus passed over from death to life, leading us out of the slavery of sin into eternal life.  And now, 50 days after Passover, as Jews from every nation gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost and remember that God gave the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai and blessed them with an abundant harvest that the Holy Spirit arrives with wind and fire.  The Spirit puts the new law of love and freedom in Christ into the hearts of the first believers and then blesses them with an abundance of new brothers and sisters.

The Holy Spirit, then and now, energizes the Church with gifts and power and works to unite us together in Jesus so that we can continue the Lord’s work in the world today.  We need the presence of the Spirit to drive out fear and division, to bring joy and peace, and to remind us of all that Jesus has taught us and commanded us to do.  “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of Thy love!”

In the gospel today, we remember that the Lord is always with us.  As the Risen Jesus brought peace and mercy to the first disciples, he does the same for each and every one of us.  We need not fear anything, knowing that the Lord is at work in the life of the Church and in our own personal lives, no matter what we are up against.  God is faithful and will never abandon us.  Our Triune God – Father, Son, and Spirit – are for us and within us.  Alleluia!  Happy Pentecost!