My Beloved the benevolent June 2020
Grace and peace, wishing you every goodness and blessing
On Sunday June 7th, the church celebrates the Pentecost Feast. This feast comes at the end of the Holy Fifty Days and is considered the feast of the institution of the church. The whole church was gathered in the upper room at the time of the descent of the Holy Spirit, as the book of Acts says, “And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Mathew; James the son of Alpheus and Simon the zealot; and Judas the son of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers” Acts 1:13-14. The book of Acts mentions the number of disciples. Each believer in Christ was called a disciple of Christ, “And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty)” Acts 1:15
In the description of the descent of the Holy Spirit, the Book of Acts says, “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4.
- The descent of the Holy Spirit came upon the believers – all 120 of them – not only the twelve disciples; and descended on women as well as men. This was the fulfillment of the prophecy by Joel the Prophet as was mentioned by St. Peter in his word on the Pentecost day, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants, I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.” Acts 2:16-18.
- The descent of the Holy Spirit was a fulfillment of what Christ the Lord said after the Resurrection. Christ the Lord stayed with His disciples, appearing to them for forty days, talking about matters pertaining to the Kingdom of God, “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ ” Acts 1:4-5. He also said to them, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8.
- Before the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, Christ the Lord spoke about the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, and said, “And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever; the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” Jn. 14:16-17. It is clear that Christ the Lord was not talking about the coming of another person after Him because of the description He gave of the Comforter: He abides with you forever; the world cannot receive because it neither sees Him nor knows Him because He dwells in you and will be in you.
All of these are descriptions, not of a person coming after Christ, but of the Holy Spirit Who descended on the disciples on the day of Pentecost and dwelt with them forever. They then became a temple for the Holy Spirit, for whoever believes in Christ and gets baptized in His Holy Name receives the gift of the Holy Spirit and becomes a temple of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit cannot be seen by the world, but appears as certain images such as tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost, and as the form of a dove in Christ’s baptism. The Holy Spirit, due to His divine nature, cannot be seen by man, but man feels the work and effect of the Holy Spirit in his life.
Christ Our Lord also said to His disciples, “but when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” Jn. 15:26. In this important verse, Christ our Lord talks about two issues regarding the Holy Spirit:
- Proceeding: “The Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father” Proceeding from the Father, the Holy Spirit is an eternal hypostasis, in the same way the Son is an eternal hypostasis begotten of the Father. The Three Hypostases are one in Divine Essence, but differ in their hypostases (person). The Hypostasis of the Father is a Father who generates, the hypostasis of the Son is begotten of the Father, and the Holy Spirit is a hypostasis proceeding from the Father.
- Sending: “Whom I shall send to you from the Father” The Son sent to us the Holy Spirit from the Father on the day of Pentecost. The Sending was accomplished at a particular point in time and sent to us by the Son from the Father.
We pray that God, who granted us His Holy Spirit, be with us and renew His Holy Spirit within us and grant us a spiritual holy life with the guidance of His Holy Spirit. May the Lord bless your offerings to support Santa Verena Charity programs.