Today we celebrate the glorious feast of Pentecost. The word “Pentecost” means “50th” and concludes the Easter season. On Monday we return to Ordinary Time until next Advent.
We often think about Pentecost as an historical event. This mysterious experience for the early Christians is always related in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles. However, there are actually five separate accounts of the dramatic outpouring of the Holy Spirit on believers. (See Acts 2:1-4; 4:28-31; 8:15-17; 10:44; 19:6.) This book of the Bible is often referred to as the “Book of the Holy Spirit” because of these various accounts. All of these experiences lead to deeper faith and witness to the presence and action of the Risen Christ in the midst of believers. These kinds of experiences continue in our day. In the gospel today Jesus shows how peace and forgiveness are associated with the sending forth of the Holy Spirit.
In what ways have you experienced a kind of outpouring of the Holy Spirit? What positive impact has this had in your life?