Easter - Pentecost


(From Conversation with God, Fernandez Carvajal)

The love of God has been poured into our hearts by his Spirit living in us, Alleluia. Pentecost was one of the three great Jewish feasts. Many Israelites used to go as pilgrims to Jerusalem during these days, to adore God in the Temple. The feast originated from a very ancient thanksgiving celebration, in gratitude to God for the yearly harvest about to be reaped. Later, another motive was added to this day's celebration with the remembrance of the promulgation of the Law given by God on Mount Sinai. This was celebrated fifty days after the Pasch. So the material harvest which the Jews celebrated with such joy became a feast of immense rejoicing, by God's design, in the New Dispensation: the coming of the Holy Spirit with all his gifts and fruits.

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. The Holy Spirit shows himself in those elements which usually accompanied the presence of God in the Old Testament: wind and fire.

Fire appears in Sacred Scripture as love which penetrates all things and as a purifying element. These are images which help us to understand better the action which the Holy Spirit carries out in souls: Lord, with the fire of the Holy Spirit, purify our inmost being and our heart.

Fire also produces light and signifies the new brightness which the Holy Spirit sheds on the doctrine of Jesus Christ: "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. On this occasion Jesus had already forewarned his disciples: The Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." It is the Holy Spirit who leads us to a full understanding of the truth taught by Christ, who completed and perfected Revelation and confirmed it by divine guarantees, finally by sending the Spirit of truth.

In the Old Testament the action of the Holy Spirit is often intimated by the word breath. This expresses both the gentleness and the strength of divine love. There is nothing subtler than the wind, which manages to penetrate everywhere, even to reach inanimate bodies and give them a life of their own. The rushing wind of the day of Pentecost expresses the new force with which divine love invades the Church and souls.

When Saint Peter sees the multitudes of people gathered near the Cenacle, he convinces them that this is the fulfillment of what had been foretold already by the Prophets. And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh. Those who receive the outpouring of the Spirit are no longer a privileged few, like the companions of Moses or the prophets. No, these are all mankind, in the measure in which they receive Christ. The action of the Holy Spirit was to produce, in the disciples and those who heard them, such an admiration that they were all enraptured, full of love and joy.