This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, the official birthday of the Christian church, when Jesus Christ kept his promise to his chosen Apostles and sent the Holy Spirit upon them to confirm their faith. They described it as a sound of a rushing wind and the vision of tongues of fire which appeared to settle over their heads.
They were, of course, an extremely frightened group of people, in military terms “lacking moral fibre”. They had deserted their Lord and Master in the Garden of Gethsemane, and though witnesses to his resurrection, were still unsure and had now locked themselves in the upper room for fear of the Jewish leaders.
The coming of the Holy Spirit would see an amazing change in both their attitude and ability to meet new challenges in promoting the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. They would be prepared to accept humiliation, imprisonment, beatings and being put to death for their belief in Christ.
Has anything changed in 2000 years? Sadly no, for there are still many areas of the world where Christ’s followers are persecuted for their faith. That they are still prepared to suffer says much for that faith. Like the Apostles, they will undoubtedly be rewarded in the next world with an eternal happiness.
Mike Van Der Weyden
St Norbert’s Roman Catholic Church, Spalding