Pentecost -A- 2014
Pentecost is a Jewish festival. It connects to the harvest feast or to the celebration of the first fruits. But it also reminds Jews to the Ten Commandments which they received in Sinai. This festival is still celebrated among the Jews.
But through the resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit, we also celebrate this feast as a Christian Pentecost.
Yes, this is also somewhat a harvest time for us:
We are now reaping the gifts of the Spirit that we have sown in faith.
Are we growing in God’s Spirit? Do we bear fruit in us?
Let us ask for the grace of God:
Today’s reading from the book of Acts has one key sentence:
All the disciples who were waiting for the Holy Spirit, received the same Spirit of God. But the Spirit had different effects and they spoke strange languages.
We experience differences, where people live. We also recognize it in the readings: Because today we hear different reports on the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples.
Why does this happen? Is it a mistake in the scriptures? Need the disciples the Holy Spirit twice? Or is one of the two stories wrong? We have so many questions. For an answer we should know the two authors a little closer.
According to our understanding, for John, Christ was the center of attraction. His gospel does not begin with the history and other stories as in Matthew, Luke and Mark. But it begins with the narration on LOGOS, the Word of God. It is about the Christ who was present in the world from the beginning. Christ is the beginning, the way and the end for John. John was with this Christ and he is intensively passing his experience with Christ.
Luke, the author of the Gospel and the Acts, however, had a different context. He was disciple of Paul and was not so close to Jesus as John. His image of Christ is very much influenced by the Community Life. More over he is someone who describes events. The Starting chapters of his Gospel proves it.
Both John and Luke, want to proclaim the same truth- the coming of the Holy Spirit. But they have various narrative methods for that.
We know that in our lives.
Just look into two different newspapers.
We will read a same news with different versions. We are all human and have our attitudes and inclinations. We will reproduce the things only based on our experiences and tastes.
Through these two types of reports, the church represents the simple human sides of her disciples and thus remains Human.
It is important that all of them remained together and receive the Holy Spirit. Although the crowd in Jerusalem had different mother tongues, they could understand the same message because of the Spirit.
That means one more thing: the message of Gospel and salvation is reserved not only for a particular group. It is now give for all people. Christ is the Savior of the world and all who accept him will receive his Spirit.
Yes, my dear friends,
Pentecost emphasizes the fellowship and unity in love. This feast tells us, the Spirit of God can dwell and act only in such a community. Such people will be enthusiastic like John and Luke.
This is what Paul says in the second reading.
There are different spiritual gifts but the Spirit is the same.
So my beloved, we too have the same spirit of God in us.
And he acts differently in and through us.
That’s fine, because thus we have the unity and yet diversity in the church.
But this is also a challenge. In this situation we show the world whether we live in the same Spirit of God or not.
Let us not look the things that separates them, but concentrate on the inspiring spirit. Let us work for it. May the Spirit of God, bless our community and our faith. Amen!