…it’s the “Happy Birthday” of our spirituality…
Catholic Church celebrates Pentecost as a solemnity, a day to commemorate the descend of the Holy Spirit upon Mother Mary and the apostles
The upper room wasn’t exactly a nice place to hangout before the Resurrection! No. It was a refugee room for those who were afraid, lost, didn’t believe, lacked courage, who were hiding from the Roman centurions. It was a dark and dead place.
And then, Jesus appeared to them in the same upper room! What joy it must have been for the apostles and the women and most of all for Mother Mary! The upper room was now a place of prayer, worship and deep fellowship.
This was what I call the ‘Jesus-encounter’ of the apostles. Do you remember your own ‘Jesus-encounter’?
For the next forty days Jesus stayed with them, teaching them, encouraging them, guiding them, and making them understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). On the day of Ascension, he commanded the disciples to wait, for the promised Gift of the Father, which would empower them to bear witness to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:4-8). And whoosh! He was taken up to heaven.
So what did the disciples do? They waited. And they prayed in one accord till the day came for them to receive the Holy Spirit. On the glorious day of Pentecost the Spirit of God descended upon them like great tongues of fire, they began speaking in strange tongues (some even thought that they were drunk!), and Peter stood up before all those people (3000 actually) and spoke boldly, bravely of Jesus and what a speech he made (yes that fisherman dude), people actually heard him and asked him what should they do! He asked them to repent and to get baptized. And guess what, all those 3000 people sold their property, turned from their sin and really did get baptized (now that’s what I call mass conversion!) and took Jesus as their Saviour.
So why didn’t this feat happen at the Resurrection? Or at the Ascension? Why didn’t Jesus directly ‘convert’ these Jews? And why didn’t Peter begin his ministry right after he saw the resurrected Lord?
Because, Jesus wanted the disciples to carry on his work, and the disciples needed the Gift to carry out the work!
You need a ‘Jesus-encounter’ to believe, the belief turns into faith with more such encounters and learning and deepening the faith, your faith becomes your spirituality, and your spirituality is incomplete without being a witness to the faith. To complete that spirituality you need the Gift.