Column: Pentecost: A life-changing event for more than the apostles

As the Church Prays
Michael Podrebarac is the archdiocesan consultant for the liturgy office.

by Michael Podrebarac 

Pentecost is just a couple of weeks away now. This feast concludes the Easter season, but more importantly, marks the beginning of the church.

It also marks a new beginning for the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, and also for each of us who has been confirmed by the Holy Spirit.

When we look at the action of the Holy Spirit in the history of salvation, we can’t help but notice how awesome and powerful the Holy Spirit truly is.

In the beginning, God breathed his Spirit upon the waters of chaos, and they took on order and produced life. This same Holy Spirit came upon the apostles at Pentecost and upon all of us who have received the sacrament of confirmation. The same Holy Spirit, in all its fullness.

The Holy Spirit enabled Noah, Abraham and Moses to hear the Lord’s own voice and to do that which was necessary for the eventual establishment of the Lord’s covenant with Israel.

The Holy Spirit sealed the authority of King Saul. So even David, who was himself chosen by God to be king and who was persecuted by Saul, would not lay a hand upon him, because he was the anointed king.

The Holy Spirit enabled the prophets to speak the Lord’s word with clarity and perfection, and enabled the Scripture writers to write down precisely what God intended them to.

The Holy Spirit enabled a poor, young village girl to become the mother of the Son of God. Together with the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin Mary brought about the Incarnation, according to God’s divine will.

The same Holy Spirit took the 12 clumsy and hesitant disciples of Jesus and turned them into the 12 founding pillars of the church of Christ.

Think of Peter, once afraid of a servant girl’s question in the courtyard of the high priest (“Are you not a disciple of his?”) now standing before the high priest himself, refusing to stop his preaching of the name and glory of Jesus (“As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”).

The difference? Pentecost.

Each of us would do well to look up the date of our confirmation and to remember that sacred event each year. But each of us should also remember our confirmation each year at Pentecost, for it was Pentecost that happened to us when we were confirmed.

And then we should think upon it in these terms: If the Holy Spirit did all of those amazing and wonderful things, with the most ordinary of people — and if I have received this same Holy Spirit in all its fullness — then what must the Holy Spirit have in mind for me?

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