Sunday, June 10, 2012

7th Sunday - Sunday of The Pentecost

CHRIST is Risen - Truly He is Risen  
Khristós Anésti! Alithós Anésti!

Sundays of the Holy Fifties

Meditation on Church reading during the Holy Fifties:
Reading: John 15: 16-26

The fathers of the church arranged and named Sundays of the Holy Fifties as they did with the Sundays of the Great Fasting.

 + 1st Sunday of the Holy Fifty Days  is the Sunday of Faith (Thomas Sunday)
 +  2nd is the Sunday of the Bread of Life.
 +  3rd is the Sunday of the Living water. 
 +  4th is the Sunday of the True Light.
 +  5th is the Sunday of the Only Way.
  6th is the Sunday of the Joy of Spiritual Asking.
 +  7th is the Sunday the Pentecost.

7th Sunday - Sunday of The Pentecost : 
John 15:16-26

At the end of the Holy Fifty days following the Resurrection of Our beloved Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples.  "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."   Acts 2:2.-4

There were a number of signs and prophecy that accompanied the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples.

- A Sound of A Strong Wind: The gushing and loud sound of the strong wind, represents the warning and the reminder from the Holy spirit to us to redeem our souls by repentance and confession of our sins. The Lord wants us to become pure and cleansed of our sins to be able to receive the Holy Spirit. He wants us to work for our own salvation for the everlasting life, the life of eternity.

- The Divided Tongues of Fire: Fulfills the prophecy of John the Baptist that Christ would "baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."  (Luke 3:16)  This fire is a manifestation of the uncreated energy of God.

- The Different Languages Spoken: Fulfills the prophecy of  Joel 3:1
The Holy Spirit shown to have overwhelming power to unite, even in diversity. A key lesson of Pentecost is that the people hear the gospel in their own language.

It was the first Christian Pentecost, the unity of assembling with one accord in one place, in which the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us, as we became temples of the Lord.  It is also an indication that the Holy Spirit is the truth, that will give us guidance.
"However when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth;" John 16:13

The decibels were Chosen, Appointed and Commanded by the Lord to go out to the whole world, preach and teach the word of the Lord and be witness to the Lord's Crucifixion and Resurrection. They were blessed with bountiful gifts; the gifts of the Holy Spirit to speak with other tongues.
"but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you."  John 15:16-17.

At the descent of the Holy Spirit, the Lord gave them complete power. Go and bear fruit, and "Whatever" you ask in My name will be given to you.. whatever is eternal and redeemable in God's creation. With this bountiful gifts and with the power of the Holy Spirit, "that your fruit should remain" John 15:16 
On the first Pentecost, St. Peter managed to bring three thousands people to Christ during his first sermon.
"Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them."  Acts 2:41

Peter's sermon focused on two prophetic themes:

1 - The promised Coming of The Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:14 & 21)
2 - The Resurrection of Christ. (Acts 2:22 & 40)
This method of preaching led directly to the multitude's repentance, baptism, and reception of the Holy Spirit ( Acts 2:38-39)

Their job was not an easy glorious task. The Lord warned them that they will find obstacles along the way. He warned them that the "WORLD" will hate and persecute them.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."  John 15:18-19

The rebellion of the world against God reveals several things:

1- While union with Christ brings love, truth and peace, it also brings persecution, because the world "HATES" love and truth " 
John 15:19"

2- The world hated Christ; therefore, it will hate all who try to be Christlike "If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you."  
John 15-20

3- The world hates Christ because it neither knows nor desires to know the Father. "But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me." John 15:21
"If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father."  John 15:24

4- Hatred for Jesus Christ is irrational and unreasonable, for Christ brings love and mercy; thus, Christ is hated "Without A Cause"  John 15:25

The Son sends the Holy Spirit from the Father. The Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father alone. In other words, the Holy Spirit receives His eternal existence only from the Father. 
In conformity with Christ's words, the Nicene - Constantinopolitan Creed confesses belief "in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father." While the Son is begotten of the Father alone, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone; the source, the Fountainhead, of both Persons is the Father.   

The Promise of God includes both our union with Christ in Holy Baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit at Chrismation.

May we all be always united with Christ, and fulfilled with the Holy Spirit. May the fruit of the Spirit guide us to always live with pure love, peace and truth. 


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