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“They were all astounded and bewildered.” (Acts 2:12)
If there’s one truth we should take as our anchor on this great feast day, it’s this: Pentecost is for everybody! Parthians, Medes, and Elamites. Residents of America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Citizens of Poland, Japan, Korea, and Kazakhstan. Everyone!
Today’s first reading encompasses the whole known world at the time of Christ, in the form of the list of visitors to Jerusalem who witnessed the outpouring of the Spirit on the apostles. And from that day forward, nothing has changed. Though we haven’t yet seen the fulfillment, it is our heavenly Father’s deepest desire to pour his Spirit into every man, woman, and child in creation.
We all need the Holy Spirit because he alone can enable and empower us to live the life that Jesus won for us on the cross. We need the Spirit to guide us to the truth, especially the truth about Jesus. Every day a barrage of information and opinion tries to take the place of the only One who gives eternal life. But in the midst of all this noise, the Spirit continues to speak, telling us every day that Jesus wants to act powerfully in our lives.
But the Spirit doesn’t just speak to our hearts. He also gives us the words—God’s own words—to comfort those who mourn and to encourage those who falter. He gives us the wisdom, too, to know when to listen instead of speak. He offers to teach us how to move ahead in peace, confident in his leading, even when we can’t see where the road leads.
That outpouring of the Spirit in the sight of people from all over the world stands as God’s public notice: “I have not left you desolate. I will help you. I will teach and encourage you, empower and energize you to do the things I call you to do.”
So open your heart wide today, and ask the Father to give you more of his Holy Spirit.
“Father, I need your Spirit! Come and fill me today, as at the first Pentecost!”
Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34; 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23
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