The magi see and follow a bright light in the distant sky and that is the celestial beginning of this feast of Pentecost. That star points to the origin of the God of heaven that was born on earth, and at the ascension that God born man returned to His heavenly Father in Heaven. This feast commemorates to the Israelites the deliverance of Gods commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai. To Christians, it commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit onto the disciples. It is the descent of the advocate that Jesus promised to deliver.
To some it is the birthday of the Church, but how can the birth of that Church be confined to a day? Also, and more importantly those flames did not descend over a building, the flames descended upon individual disciples. Think back to the Easter vigil, and that paschal candle that represents the light of Christ. Think then of that flame lighting the candle held by every parishioner present. There then is the Church, not defined by a building but by the contrast of those many lights against the darkness.Contrast that with the temple of Jerusalem, the spirit sent by Christ did not enter a building. The Holy Spirit entered the individual. It spoke directly to the person. How far that light of the star that the magi followed had traveled. This feast day is the pinnacle of Christ’s mission, that God and man might be reunited. That the God of the heavens might dwell among us till the end of time.
That light that descends is the advocate, the counselor, a guide as a light is a guide through darkness. It is the wisdom of God, the wisdom of Christ, it is the good news of the Gospel put to practice. That spirit is evident in the readings of Acts of the Apostles that chronicle the early days of the Church. That spirit should be the guiding light of the same Church today. The wisdom of the gospel, put into practice today. It is a spirit and a light that should be visible in every Christian today. A light to guide them, and to offer guidance to others.Veni, Sancte Spiritus.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth. Let us pray. O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord.
This feast day does not get the attention of the other Great feasts of Christmas and Easter, but it should. This day though might not be best represented by lavish decorations or celebrations. It is a day best represented by prayer, and by liturgy. They are reminders for that spirit to descend upon us every day, and of the diligence needed to awaken that same spirit. The day should function as a reminder of who should be summoned whenever one steps into a building of Christ’s Church. Come Holy Spirit. It is the cry of the Mass, and a cry for salvation. That Holy Spirit should be seen in every flickering flame, a reminder of who Christ sent. A reminder of Jesus Christ’s promise to remain with us till the end of time. Come Holy Spirit. Vine Sancte Spiritus.