May The Force Be In Us
Several days after Jesus returned to heaven the Jewish people celebrated the festival of Pentecost. Jesus’ closest friends were hiding away together when they experienced something so remarkable that it would change their lives forever. What filled the room that day is described in The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible as sounding like “the rush of a mighty wind.”
The Hoyl Spirit
The force behind this rush filled not only the place where they were hiding but it rested on each of them. The Holy Spirit gave them courage and strength and their fear could no longer hold them back. They ran out into the streets and began preaching the good news of Jesus. A new movement came to life: The Church was born!
The Early Christians
In the beginning, the followers of Christ were known as a Jewish sect. Following the death of Stephen, and the conversion of Paul, the term “Christian” was used for the first time in Antioch (Acts 11:26). Drama surrounded the early Christian’s work but they persisted despite the challenges, fear and persecution. “And they strengthen in the faith and they increased in numbers” (16:5). Throughout Luke’s account in the Acts of the Apostles this faithful Church, this new movement built on the words and wonders of Jesus, never stopped naming the source of their strength: The Holy Spirit. This force, this mighty rush gives us strength today, but it seems to me that so many of us hide from it.
We have a tendency to lock ourselves in our own little, private room believing our spirituality is just that - private. If we say yes to the wind of change it will give us strength. As we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, let’s pray that the Holy Spirit can rest on us and change our life.