Δευτέρα, 15 Νοέμβριος 2021 20:46

Pentecost

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  Have you ever met someone who can speak several foreign languages? It needs a lot of effort and an aptitude in order to be able to communicate in many languages.
  Yet, some low-educated people managed to talk all the known languages in a single day - no, it's better to say in a moment! Listen to the incident, as it is described in one of the books of the New Testament which is called "Acts of the Apostles".
  Jerusalem was crowded. It had been about fifty days since Passover, the greatest Jewish feast day. Do you remember what Jews celebrated on Passover? The miraculous passing through the Red Sea, their liberation from slavery in Egypt. Since it was their most important religious celebration, they made sure to be in Jerusalem during that time, even those who lived far away. In addition, most of them decided to stay in Jerusalem until Pentecost, another important feast day. It was a harvesting celebration, meaning that they rejoiced in collecting the first crops. They offered sacrifices in the Temple to thank God for the first crops from the land. It was called Pentecost because this celebration took place fifty days after Passover.
pentikosti 1  It was time for the Pentecost celebration, when suddenly there was a commotion in the city of Jerusalem. A loud rumble from the sky, like an extremely strong wind, startled everyone! They rushed to see what was happening. The rumble led them to assemble outside a house. Who lived in that house? Christ's students were gathered there. The loud rumble being heard, twelve fiery tongues, like flames, appeared and spread equally, each above an apostle. At that moment Christ's students were overrun by the Holy Spirit and they started talking in foreign languages!
  The crowd outside heard them talk and they felt curious and impressed! How could those low-educated people speak so many languages? "They come from Galilee, don't they? How is it possible to hear them talk in our own dialect?" people discussed. "Parthians, Medes, habitants of Mesopotamia, of Judah, of Cappadocia, of Pontus, of Asia, of Egypt, of Libya, people who came from Rome, Crete and Arabia, we all hear these men talk in our language!" It's truly bizarre and wondrous! What all these mean?
  Others, however, mocked the apostles. "They are drunk" they dared say. Is that what drunk people look like? The apostles talked with boldness about Christ and preached His Resurrection before the crowds. Their speech was so persuasive that about 3000 people believed in Christ and got baptized that day! Those people constituted the first Church.
  In other words, that day is the birth day of our Church! It was the fiftieth (Pentecost) day after Christ's Resurrection. So, every year, fifty days after Easter we celebrate Pentecost and commemorate the birth day of our Church.
  Since the great day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is always among us, both in the Church and with each Christian.
  What is the Holy Spirit? It's neither a spirit, nor a wind, nor a fire. It appeared that way on the day of Pentecost in order to make his presence known. The Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).
  Since the day of our baptism, we host the Holy Spirit inside us. He grants us with his gifts: love, happiness, peace, kindness and many more (see Gal 5:22-23).
  His other name shows how much he loves us; he is called Paraclete. What does this word mean? Paraclete is the one who consoles, gives strength and guides to the right pathway.
  The Holy Spirit or Paraclete conducts the seven sacred Mysteries/sacraments of the Orthodox Church; Baptism, Chrismation, Confession, Holy Communion, Unction, Marriage and Ordination.
  Each Mystery or religious Service begins with a prayer to the Holy Spirit. You have definitely heard of it. We recite it here in our church school, too. Let's say it all together.
  What do we ask from the Holy Spirit?
  a) Come and dwell in us; to come and make our heart his home. Of course, he came the day we were baptized. But the Holy Spirit gets sad with our sins, so he is forced to move away. We pray so that the Holy Spirit forgives us and returns in our heart. How wonderful it is to be with Paraclete!
  b) And cleanse us from every stain; to clean us from every sin. When we first received the Holy Spirit on the day we got baptized, our soul became crystal white. However, our sins stain our soul. That's why we plead Paraclete to clean us from our sins.
  c) And save our souls, O Good One. Satan wants to pull our souls away from God. He sets traps for us all the time. We plead the Holy Spirit to keep us safe from every danger that threatens our soul.
Let us pray, either all together here in the church school or when we are alone, let us plead whole-heartedly Paraclete, the Holy Spirit to stay forever inside us and to fill us with Its precious gifts.

You, the Holy Spirit
you are the Heavenly King
Become our strength
Come and inhabit our being

Διαβάστηκε 130 φορές Τελευταία τροποποίηση στις Τετάρτη, 15 Δεκέμβριος 2021 21:01
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