Pentecost: The Manifestation of the Holy Spirit

Service d'Animation Missionnaire

All the disciples were together on the day of Pentecost. Suddenly, a sound from heaven like a mighty wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. They saw what appeared to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. (Acts 2:1-11)

The feast of Pentecost marks the culmination of the Easter season. The early Christian communities clearly understood that everything happening among them was the fruit of the Holy Spirit. After Jesus’ ascension to heaven, according to Luke's account in the Acts of the Apostles, the disciples wasted no time and began to act, preaching the good news and becoming other "Jesuses" on earth.

Pentecost symbolizes the action of the Holy Spirit through Jesus, now manifested in each of His disciples. For us, celebrating Easter and remembering Pentecost means discovering the presence of God's Spirit in our innermost being. By discovering His life-giving presence, the Spirit will propel us towards mission and lead us to the peripheries of life.

The Hebrew word “Ruah”

The Hebrew word "Ruah" has a profound and multifaceted meaning. Translated as "wind" or "breath," Ruah is more than a simple breeze. It is a breath of life, a force that refreshes, calms, generates, and regenerates. This breath of life is the same that was present at the beginning of creation, in the big bang of the cosmos, shaping and giving life to everything we know.

Ruah is also fire and force, a powerful energy that drives and motivates. It is a gentle breeze and a column of "smoke" that protects from the scorching desert sun, providing refuge and relief amidst hardships.

This maternal wind of God is a source of inspiration for many artists, filling them with creativity and passion. The Ruah flows and clears, removing obstacles and opening paths. It is a wind that propels into life, urging prophets to leave their comfort zones and take missionary risks.

Comforter and Giver of Life

The Holy Spirit is the "wind" that stirs the sails of our soul and propels us forward in our missionary life. He is the "Comforter" who guides us, gives us the freedom of the sons and daughters of God, and enables us for missionary action and dynamism.

It is the Spirit who gives us the courage and strength to be witnesses of Christ in the world. He is the "soul of the mission" that pushes us to go out of ourselves, to open the doors of fear, and to proclaim the Gospel with strength and joy.

This missionary joy that the Holy Spirit kindles in us is a sign that the Gospel has been proclaimed and is bearing fruit. It is born from the encounter with the Risen Jesus and drives us to share this treasure with others:

“Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32).

Although the Holy Spirit is always in each of us, we are not always aware of His presence. Since God cannot transgress our nature and always acts in accordance with it, it is possible to go through life without discovering His presence. However, God-Spirit is the same in all of us and propels us towards the same goal, "just as the body, though one, has many members." (1 Corinthians 12:7-30).

In conclusion, Pentecost is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He drives us to mission, fills us with courage, and guides us to be witnesses of the joy of the Risen Christ in the world. Let us celebrate this feast by remembering the presence of the Spirit within us and allowing ourselves to be carried by His transformative power.

How does the presence of the Holy Spirit reflect in your daily life?