Collect of the Day:
O God, by the sacrament we are to celebrate today
you sanctify the whole Church
among all races and all peoples.
When the Holy Spirit came down on the Apostles,
the Gospel was preached to the world for the first time ever,
according to Your Will.
Pour out now the gifts of the Spirit onto the whole world,
and through the hearts of those who believe in you
may the Gospel be spread
and Your Will, be fulfilled.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.
The First Reading: Acts of the Apostles: 2:1-11: They were filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak different languages.
The Second Reading: I Corinthians: 12:3-7. 12-13: In the one Spirit we were all baptised, making one body.
The Gospel: John: 20:19-23: As the Father sent me, so I send you: Receive the Holy Spirit.
Today we take a break from our teaching series on the Seven Deadly Sins to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, may the Holy Spirit fill your hearts with all joy and your lives with all peace.
A treatise “Against the Heresies” by St Irenaeus
The sending of the Holy Spirit
When the Lord told his disciples to go and teach all nations and baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, he conferred on them the power of giving men new life in God.
He had promised through the prophets that in these last days he would pour out his Spirit on his servants and handmaids, and that they would prophesy. So when the Son of God became the Son of Man, the Spirit also descended upon him, becoming accustomed in this way to dwelling with the human race, to living in men and to inhabiting God’s creation. The Spirit accomplished the Father’s will in men who had grown old in sin, and gave them new life in Christ.
Luke says that the Spirit came down on the disciples at Pentecost, after the Lord’s ascension, with power to open the gates of life to all nations and to make known to them the new covenant. So it was that men of every language joined in singing one song of praise to God, and scattered tribes, restored to unity by the Spirit, were offered to the Father as the first-fruits of all the nations.
This was why the Lord had promised to send the Advocate: he was to prepare us as an offering to God. Like dry flour, which cannot become one lump of dough, one loaf of broad, without moisture, we who are many could not become one in Christ Jesus without the water that comes down from heaven. And like parched ground, which yields no harvest unless it receives moisture, we who were once like a waterless tree could never have lived and borne fruit without this abundant rainfall from above. Through the baptism that liberates us from change and decay we have become one in body; through the Spirit we have become one in soul.
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of God came down upon the Lord, and the Lord in turn gave this Spirit to his Church, sending the Advocate from heaven into all the world into which, according to his own words, the devil too had been cast down like lightning.
If we are not to be scorched and made unfruitful, we need the dew of God. Since we have our accuser, we need an advocate as well. And so the Lord in his pity for man, who had fallen into the hands of brigands, having himself bound up his wounds and left for his care two coins bearing the royal image, entrusted him to the Holy Spirit. Now, through the Spirit, the image and inscription of the Father and the Son have been given to us, and it is our duty to use the coin committed to our charge and make it yield a rich profit for the Lord.