pentecosts past and present
"When the day of Pentecost came it found them gathered in one place." —Acts 2:1
One-hundred-and-twenty of Jesus' disciples had been devoting themselves to constant prayer for nine days (Acts 1:14). As they began praying at about 9 AM on the tenth day, "suddenly from up in the sky there came a noise like a strong, driving wind" (Acts 2:2). After the Holy Spirit introduced Himself audibly, He manifested Himself visibly when "tongues as of fire appeared" (Acts 2:3). These exterior manifestations indicated interior transformations in the hearts of Jesus' disciples (see Acts 15:9). Then they spoke from the abundance of their hearts (see Lk 6:45) and "began to express themselves in different tongues and make bold proclamation as the Spirit prompted them" (Acts 2:4). This was only the beginning. After Peter preached and prophesied, these 120 disciples reached 3,000 people with the gospel of Jesus, and these 3,000 were baptized that very day (Acts 2:41).
Will Pentecost today be like the first Christian Pentecost? Many people, even Christians, think Pentecost was in the past and is not for the present. Others believe new Pentecosts happen today but only rarely. However, the Church has always taught that we celebrate the events of salvation history not merely to think of the past but to experience and fulfill these events in the present. Jesus promised that if we believed in Him, we would do greater works than He did (Jn 14:12). Therefore, expect a new Pentecost today — greater than ever before.
Prayer: Father, on this Pentecost may I expect You to love me as Your child.
Promise: " 'Peace be with you,' He said again. 'As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.' Then He breathed on them and said: 'Receive the Holy Spirit.' " —Jn 20:21-22
Praise: Praise God the Father, Who promised to send us the Holy Spirit! (Acts 1:4) Praise Jesus, Who baptizes us in the Holy Spirit! (Mk 1:8) Praise the Holy Spirit of Pentecost!
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 29, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 31, 2002