Pentecost… fifty days after Easter. It’s a time of celebration, and I can feel the joy and reverence in the air. The Holy Spirit’s outpouring upon the apostles empowered them to spread the Gospel boldly and share Jesus Christ’s message with the world. It’s amazing to think that this event happened so long ago, yet its significance still resonates with us today. As Catholics, we are called to follow Jesus and be a witness to His love and mercy in our lives, even when it’s difficult… especially when it is difficult. Yes, It can be hard to stay true to our faith when we face challenges or opposition, but we can find strength in the example of the apostles at Pentecost.
Life Before the Upper Room
Before Pentecost, the apostles had experienced a lot. They witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, and then He appeared to them and taught them for forty days before ascending into heaven. I imagine they were feeling a bit confused, yet eager about what was to come. The apostles had been told by Jesus before His ascension that they should wait in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit, which would happen on the day of Pentecost. They were aware that something significant was going to happen, but what exactly? On that day, they waited together in prayerful anticipation for the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
And then on the day of Pentecost, everything changed. The Holy Spirit descended upon them, and they started speaking in different languages. Can you imagine how they must have felt in that moment? I think they must have been filled with a sense of awe and wonder, but instead of fear, the Holy Spirit emboldened them to start preaching right there in the streets of Jerusalem!
The apostles went out into the world to spread the message of Jesus Christ, and they continued to perform miracles, speak in different languages and defy those who wanted to silence them. As a result, the early Church erupted and many people came to know Christ through those heroic men. The Holy Spirit brings a lot of amazing gifts into our lives, like wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
Life without Fear
The Holy Spirit can embolden us to live out our mission with courage and conviction and help us to speak up for what is right, even when it is unpopular or uncomfortable, and to share our faith with others in a way that is authentic and compelling. Pentecost gives us the chance to reflect on these gifts and to ask the Holy Spirit to help us use them to serve others and be witnesses of the Gospel in our daily lives.