The Mark of Pentecost

by Ptr Rene Nepomuceno

Pentecost is one of the most important feast celebrated by Jews and Christians. The feast is known to the Jews as Shavuot. On this day, the Jews commemorate the actual giving of the Torah at Mt Sinai and the inauguration of Israel as a nation. In like manner, Pentecost marks the
beginning of the Christian Church. On that day, the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples of Jesus Christ and the new covenant community of God was instituted. In Mt Sinai the people of Israel feared and trembled as the Law was given amidst thunder and billowing smoke. On Pentecost, the disciples of Jesus were filled with joy and praising as the Spirit descended upon them in forms of tongues of fire amidst rustling wind. This experience has been the subject of disagreements by different Christian tradition. On one hand it is a one time ordained event that signaled the formation of the Church and on the other hand a recurring available experience appropriated to the Church today. The debates have been intense and has created more division within the already splintered Church, which I believe to be contrary to the purpose of why the Spirit was given. The divine Spirit living in a community creates unity and love not discord and hatred.

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