Readings for The Day of Pentecost
Ezekiel 37:1-14; Acts 2:1-21; John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
A deflated balloon. A flashlight without batteries. A vehicle with an empty gas tank. Without the necessary source of energy, none of these objects can be used as intended. The same is true of a person who lacks the Holy Spirit. The Festival of Pentecost (50 days after Easter) celebrates the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciple of Jesus and gave them a supernatural gift for proclaiming the good news of Jesus in many languages.
Each of Sunday’s readings points to the work that the Holy Spirit does inside of God’s Church on earth. Through Ezekiel’s preaching, the Holy Spirit breathed new life into a group of hopeless exiles. The Spirit restored their faith in God (Ezk37).
In the second reading from Acts, the Holy Spirit overcomes a huge language barrier for the disciples with the result that 3,000 Jews believed in Jesus and were baptized in his name. The Christian Church was born that day! The Spirit continues to overcome the seemingly insurmountable barriers we face in sharing our faith with others today (Ac2).
On the night before his betrayal, Jesus promised to send a Helper, the Spirit of Truth, who would do the “heavy lifting” of evangelism for Jesus’ disciples. We are called to share the good news. Only the Holy Spirit can change people’s hearts. Through Law and Gospel He exposes sin, comforts the weary sinner, and glorifies Jesus by pointing us to him (Jn16).