Malankara World

Pentecost - The Birthday of Church

Pentecost - Let us practice...

by Fr.Saji K. Mathew

What is the relevance of Pentecost in our Church?

The festival of Pentecost is the time when we remember the promise of Jesus Christ (Jn: 14:16). Jesus did not leave us alone before departing for the heavenly abode but promised to get the "Spirit of Truth" sent into the world. So, after these many years what is the relevance of that `promise'? How do we make the `promise' practical and lively?

When we think about Holy Spirit the two factors which rush to our mind are Love (agape) and Cooperation (Selfless Unity with identity intact). Both these things are found in perfection in the Holy Trinity.

Holy Trinity is the model and source of encouragement for humanity in the contemporary world. We should derive energy to grow in spirit from that divine source.

There might probably be millions of speeches, sermons, articles and books written on `Love'. Unfortunately even today Love is like a myth or an impractical concept for many of us.

A famous British psychologist has an introductory story in one of his books. The story goes like this:

Once upon a time there existed a Jewish monastery somewhere in Israel/Palestine, which was fast becoming extinct. The last four monks of the monastery were getting old and there were no new membership. Worried about the future of the monastery they decided to consult another monk who used to live deep in the woods. The four of them traveled together to the woods and discussed their plight to the old monk. The monk did not give any solution to their problem but practiced a studied silence. The next day before leaving, the four monks requested for a solution.

The guru then broke his silence. He said, "My beloved brethren, I do not have a real solution for your plight. But I want to inform you that one among you is the promised Messiah".

After kissing peace the four returned to their monastery in a state of confusion. They started thinking who would be the Messiah among us. Each one started saying to themselves, Of course it is not me. Probably the monk living next door would be. Each one started thinking about the other as the `would be Messiah'. Considering the other as the Messiah they started respecting and loving each other wholeheartedly. The kind of LOVE they started practicing was something which was never practiced before in their monastery.

A year passed when a group of youngsters visited the monastery. They were so attracted by the Love and Cooperation of the monks that they decided to make their visits frequent. Then it happened. Some among the youth requested to get admitted into the monastery. The story ends with more than 100 Novices living in the monastery by the end of second year.

Jesus said "I will be visible to you but not to the world" (Jn.14:19). The young visitors to the monastery of four monks could see Jesus there. Let each one of us assume that we are one of those monks living in the monastery, which is our Church. Let us practice the Love and Cooperation free from all guiles.

The result: We will have a Church where the true spirit of Pentecost prevail.

See Also:

Pentecost, the Birthday of the Church: A Scriptural Reflection on the Solemnity of Pentecost
by Carl E. Olson

For Christians, Pentecost is the celebration of a formative event in the history of the early Church—the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the newly birthed Church and the first bold proclamation of the Gospel by Peter, the head apostle, among the Jews. The gift of the Spirit ushers in a new era in the ‘dispensation of the mystery’ the age of the Church, during which Christ manifests, makes present, and communicates his work of salvation through the liturgy of his Church, ‘until he comes.’

Pentecost: the Holy Spirit Comes
by Victor Hoagland, C.P.

The Holy Spirit is Jesus’ “first gift to those who believe, to complete his work on earth, and bring us the fullness of grace.”  Just as
the Father sent him, his disciples are to go into the world to renew the face of the earth. With different gifts, they form one body. Performing different works, they are members of the body of Christ, the church.

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