Retreat of Pentecost,  Part 2

Hagia Maria Sion Abbey in Jerusalem on Mt. Zion. Mount on which the Holy Spirit descended

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From our meditation yesterday we carried the question what does this mean what happened at Pentecost!

Let us try to find a first answer.

Because of the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, God leads us out of the chaos of sin and confusion into the true relationship with Him. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. It is He who brings about true unity among people.

So it needs the light of God, which penetrates the night of sin and ignorance and confusion, to give that unity among us human beings to which we are called as children of God. It is important to note: It is not unity that men build. This man-made unitiy is even, as the biblical text in Genesis shows us, in danger of turning into a rebellion against God and ultimately contributing to confusion.

If we listen carefully, then we realize now: This work and miracle of the Holy Spirit is connected with the proclamation of the Gospel and the manifestation of the Holy Church at Hagia Zion in Jerusalem!

Peter proclaims in authority:

Acts 2, 21-24.32-33.36

“And all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. Men of Israel, listen to what I am going to say: Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God by the miracles and portents and signs that God worked through him when he was among you, as you know. This man, who was put into your power by the deliberate intention and foreknowledge of God, you took and had crucified and killed by men outside the Law. But God raised him to life, freeing him from the pangs of Hades; for it was impossible for him to be held in its power since. God raised this man Jesus to life, and of that we are all witnesses. Now raised to the heights by God’s right hand, he has received from the Father the Holy Spirit, who was promised, and what you see and hear is the outpouring of that Spirit. For this reason the whole House of Israel can be certain that the Lord and Christ whom God has made is this Jesus whom you crucified.”

So let us hold fast as an answer to the question of men, “What does this mean? and “got upset” by the event of Pentecost:

It means that God Himself, by His action, brings about unity among men by leading them to faith in Jesus Christ and teaching them to worship and proclaim Him in the right way. His instrument for this is the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and of a Peter in front who listens to him, as we see in the Pentecost event. Peter understands by the action of the Holy Spirit what the prophets have foretold and proclaims only the fulfillment of the promise!

In true faith, people now learn the uniform language of God in love and truth, His way of salvation for people is to be proclaimed in all languages. Peoples have to gain knowledge of the love of our Father and to realize His search for us human beings and the way that God has opened up for all people – beginning in Israel and continuing to the ends of the earth. The inner confusion of people will be broken through if they open themselves to the work of the Spirit and find faith. The night of ignorance and sin is in principle torn apart for all people – if they listen to the words of Jesus and follow Him!

“The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from my hand. I and the Father are one.” (Jn 10,27-28)

Let us note: We can give an answer to the questioners in Jerusalem and also to the questioners in the world today. Pentecost in the light of faith calls us to do so. We can speak in one language if we listen to the Holy Spirit, if we listen to the authentic teaching of the Church, if we as a Church do not neglect the mission of God to proclaim the Gospel to all people: starting with the Jews and continuing to the ends of the earth!

There may be many different ways in which this proclamation can be done, a well understood dialogue, for example, can be a positive element of evangelism.

True unity among people and thus true peace will only be possible if God can work through us as he did with the apostles at Pentecost. In Jerusalem the apostles preached the Gospel to the Jews and to all those present from different nations and were then sent to all nations!

The general night of ignorance and sin over mankind can only be overcome by God himself, if he awakens faith in his Son and the Babylonian confusion on its various levels can only be overcome in this way.

This has far-reaching consequences, because this message of the Gospel, which the Church has always upheld, must not be relativized and adapted to the spirit of this world, as is unfortunately increasingly happening. Spiritual adultery must not be allowed to take place in which the Church. Instead of uniting herself more deeply with her Bridegroom, there is the danger to go astray into worldly ways, instead of following the way of this world we have to follow the Holy Spirit.

If we go astray, however, instead of light and clarity, confusion and disorientation, cowardice and fear of mankind arise: the night then does not remain torn apart, but the light shining in it is darkened, because it is primarily the task of the Church to collaborate with this light – the Holy Spirit – so that this light can penetrate all darkness and does not extinguish it!