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The Holy Trinity
The Pentecost.

The real beginning of the Church, the moment of its birth, is the feast of the Pentecost, or the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. On the tenth day after the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, His disciples, together with His Mother and other holy women, and some Jews who had come to believe in Christ, - about 120 people in all, - were gathered in a home on Mount Zion. As usual, they were spending their time in prayer and waiting for the Holy Spirit, Whom the Lord had promised to send in His stead. All of a sudden there was a noise from heaven, as of a rushing wind, which filled the whole house. And there appeared tongues of fire that spread out and alit upon each person. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages.

This day was the Jewish feast of the Pentecost, which commemorated the handing down of the law on the Mount of Sinai, and because of this there were many people in Jerusalem who had come from different lands. They heard an unusual noise in the air and started gathering near the house where the apostles were gathered. The people were amazed to hear the apostles speak to them of the mighty works of God in their own native tongues. Wondering, they asked each other: What does this mean?, while others made fun of them, saying: They are drunk with wine.

Then Apostle Peter stood before the people and explained to them that knowledge of foreign languages is not acquired through wine and that the disciples could not be accused of being drunk at 9:00 in the morning! What had just occurred was the fulfillment of prophesies that the Holy Spirit would descend on all those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The people were deeply moved by Apostle Peters words, and on that day about three thousand people were baptized. Such was the beginning of the spreading of the Gospel, which through the holy apostles and their disciples was spread throughout the whole world.

Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles.
Descent of the Holy Spirit
on the Apostles.

From the time the Holy Spirit passed over the apostles like the sound of wind, and fiery tongues alit upon them, they became different people. From disciples they turned into apostles. Those who had just recently run away in fear from the garden of Gethsemane, now began a world-wide propagation of the Gospel. They were not stopped by threats, nor by torture, nor by death. They were followed by ever new generations of witnesses and martyrs for Christ. Mighty rulers took up arms against them, various philosophers opposed them, great temptations were put in their path, - but crucified, burned, perishing in the arenas of gladiators, - they stood firm in the strength of the Holy Spirit. Afterwards, turbid waves of false Christians, unworthy pastors, false teachers, dissenters and all manner of heretics crashed over them, but nothing could destroy the Church of Christ. Our Divine Teacher has promised us: I shall build My Church and the gates of hell shall not overcome it.

And so, standing on this great day of the Pentecost in the Church of Christ, we celebrate its establishment and its eternal triumph. Let us pray to God, especially during the reading of the kneeling prayers, that we, too, be touched by the grace of the Holy Spirit, Who is the treasure of all goods and the giver of life.

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