When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Throughout Scripture, one way that God’s power is described is using the language of “wind” or “breath.” In the book of Genesis it is a mighty wind that separates the void into light and darkness. Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai in a mighty storm of wind. In the resurrection gospels of the past weeks, Jesus breathes on the apostles and promises the coming of the Holy Spirit. And in today’s Pentecost narrative, it was another mighty wind that signaled the arrival of God’s life-giving Spirit.
This gift of the Holy Spirit was not limited to the apostles on that first Pentecost. Each of us is given the opportunity to breathe in the new life of the Spirit in our daily lives. How can the fruits of the Spirit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity–manifest themselves in your behavior today? How can they transform your relationships? How your words and actions, like the apostles at Pentecost, teach others about God?
—The Jesuit Prayer team
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.
—a traditional prayer