The Significance Of Pentecost In The Life Of Every Christian
After Jesus Christ our Lord resurrected from the dead after three days, he stayed with his disciples for 40 days. That is after Easter the lord dwelt with His friends for 40 days before ascending to heaven but on that fateful day (Ascension), He said, ‘But now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you’. John 16:5-7. He was speaking about the PENTECOST
In the same vein, in Acts 2:16-18, Peter said to the crowd, “No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘ In the last days, God says, I WILL POUR OUT MY SPIRIT on all people; your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out My Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.…” Acts 2:16-18.
Today, Christians across the world celebrate Pentecost. although not all Christians recognize this HOLY DAY. But it is generally honored in liturgical churches (Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, etc.), in Pentecostal and Charismatic churches, and in many other Protestant churches as well. Pentecost is not as well-known or as popular as the Christmas and Easter, though it commemorates a watershed event in Christian history. It many ways, Pentecost is the birthday of the church.
Before the events of the first Pentecost, which came a few weeks after Jesus’ death and resurrection, there were followers of Jesus, but no movement that could be meaningfully called “the church.” Thus, from an historical point of view, Pentecost is the day on which the church was started. This is also true from a spiritual perspective, since the Spirit brings the church into existence and enlivens it. Thus Pentecost is the church’s birthday.
Acts 2:3-4 ‘Suddenly a sound like a mighty rushing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw tongues like flames of a fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.…’
I want to share The richness and goodness of this Great Paraclete, Counselor, Comforter through these seven gifts he gives among numerous others:
Wisdom: It is the capacity to love spiritual things more than material ones; it also means the want to understand God. It is the perfection of the theological virtue of faith.
Understanding: In understanding, we understand how we need to live as followers of Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live. The gift of understanding perfects a person’s speculative reason in the apprehension of truth. It is the gift whereby self-evident principles are known.
Counsel (right judgement): With the gift of counsel/right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus Christ. It is the perfection of the cardinal virtue of prudence.
Fortitude (courage): With the gift of fortitude/courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risks as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or physical harm. The gift of courage allows people the firmness of mind that is required both in doing good and in enduring evil. It is the perfection of the cardinal virtue of the same name.
Knowledge: With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God. The distinction between wisdom and knowledge is that wisdom gives the desire to know the things of God, whereas knowledge is the actual power by which such things are known. The gift of knowledge is more than an accumulation of facts, it also helps us to choose the right path through life.
Piety (reverence): With the gift of piety/reverence, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love. According to Saint Thomas Aquinas, it is the perfection of the virtue of religion.Piety is the gift whereby, at the Holy Spirit’s instigation, we pay worship and duty to God as our Father, as Aquinas writes.
Fear of the Lord (wonder and awe): With the gift of fear of the Lord/wonder and awe, we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love. This gift is described by Aquinas as a fear of separating oneself from God. He describes the gift as a “filial fear,” like a child’s fear of offending his father, rather than a “servile fear,” that is, a fear of punishment. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It is the perfection of the theological virtue of hope.
According to Saint Thomas Aquinas, four of these gifts (wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and counsel) direct the intellect, while the other three gifts (fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord) direct the will toward God.
(The Seven gifts was gotten from the Catechism of the Catholic Church).
HAPPY PENTECOST! HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTIANS!