Alicia Von Handorf
Sunday, May 19, 2013
When a Christian is asked about the most important holy days of the year, their brains usually jump straight to Christmas and Easter. While these are two very important days in our faith, there are other days that are extremely important days that we sometimes forget about as Catholics. One of these days is Pentecost. The reading I choose to discuss is the first reading (Acts 2:1-11) because I think it gives us a good sense of what Pentecost is all about.
After Jesus death and resurrection, the apostles were supposed to be out preaching to the world. However, this was not the case. “They had received orders to preach the gospel to every creature, and to begin at Jerusalem, yet lay perfectly wind-bound, incognito—concealed, and not offering to preach.” (Matthew Henry Commentary). Put yourself in their shoes. If the person you looked up to and followed with all your heart was suddenly captured, tortured, and killed publicly, wouldn’t’t you be scared for your life? I know I would be. On top of that, your job is to put yourself out there and preach the same things that he got killed for. Would you risk your own safety to do this? How about I put this situation in more relatable terms. If your friends started to talk about someone behind their back, would you risk your image to step up and tell your friends that what they are doing is wrong and it needs to stop? Just like we are put in these tough situations all the time, the apostles were in a tough situation, and they choose to isolate themselves to save their lives.
Whenever I picture the apostles locked up in a room together, it reminds me of when we practice for a lockdown at school. I’m trapped in a room with all my peers, and I can’t leave out of fear. When this reading says, “And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.” (Acts 2:1-11) it makes me imagine someone busting in the room during a real lockdown. For a split second my heart would be filled with fear, but then I would feel overwhelming relief when I discovered it was a policeman. The apostles are experiencing the same thing. They are filled with fear at first, but they soon feel comfort in realizing that the Holy Spirit has come down upon them.
Although the apostles might have been fearful, they were experiencing one of the greatest miracles of all. The Holy Spirit was giving them courage and wisdom, so they could go out and preach to all people. It did not matter what language they spoke. Everyone there could understand them as if they were speaking in their native tongue. They might not have known it at the time, but this was the start of the Catholic Church. It was truly a magical moment.
As you can see I’m a very imaginative person, but it is hard to imagine what it would be like to have the power of the Holy Spirit coursing through you, enabling you to spread the good news of God. Then again, God is always with us. He is always there to give us the courage and strength to man up and tells our peers to stop talking about others behind their backs. We just have to allow him to take over us, so we can do his will. When the apostles tried to avoid God’s will they were worthless and accomplished nothing. Then, the Holy Spirit was bestowed on them and they were able to start the Catholic Church. Imagine what God would be able to do with you if you opened up to him and did his will. We are called to do great things with our lives, and all those seemingly impossible things that you want to achieve are possible if we let God into our lives.
Now do you see how important Pentecost is? It is not just like any other ordinary day. It was the start of our Church. On top of that, it shows us what we can do if we follow God’s will. We have a choice to make as Catholics. We can either shut God out of our lives and hope for the best, or we can allow him to fill our hearts and give us the courage to do his deed. What will you choose?
Matthew, Henry. “Henry Matthew’s Commentary Acts 2.” BibleStudyTools.com. Salem Web Network, 2013. Web. 16 May 2013.