Reflections on Scripture Pentecost Sunday

By 10:33 AM

Pentecost Sunday Acts 2:1-11

(Because we already reflected on the first part of today’s Gospel on the Second Sunday of Easter, we will focus on the First Reading instead.)

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.

Pentecost was one of three solemn Jewish feasts for which the people were to go on pilgrimage to the Temple to worship God. Originally, it was a time to give thanks to God for the harvest. Later, it was also a time to thank God for the Mosaic Law. It was held fifty days after the Feast of the Passover.
The place they gathered in was the same Upper Room where Jesus instituted the Eucharist and where he appeared to them after the Resurrection.

And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.

Both wind and fire were used as symbols of the Spirit of God. Usually they manifested the power of God.
In the Old Testament when God established the covenant on Mt. Sinai, fire was a symbol of God’s presence. Jesus has established the New Covenant and the symbol of the tongues of fire manifests the anointing power of the Spirit enabling the apostles to do the work Jesus commissioned them to do.
Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit. This is the fulfillment of those promises.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.
When were you first filled with the Holy Spirit? Even though there were not the same external manifestations, what happened to you?
What does it mean "to be filled with the Holy Spirit?"

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language.

The people from various lands and cultures were amazed because they heard the ecstatic prayer of the apostles and the 120 but in their own native languages. Can you imagine if some of the hearers spoke several languages, how amazed they must have been?

They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, "Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his own native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome,
both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God."
The nations listed by Luke virtually covered every territory of the world known to Luke at the time.
Other reflections? What action do you feel you need to take in your life?

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