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Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost

The coming of the Holy Spirit (or Hokekaloust in Armenian) is celebrated by the Armenian Church, as in all Christian churches, 50 days after Easter.  As we celebrate that “birthday” of the Church, we also celebrate our own Pentecost.  For just as the Holy Spirit came to the Apostles on Pentecost, so too does the Holy Spirit come to each one of us on our personal Pentecost at the time of our chrismation or confirmation.

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Imagine the predicament of the Disciples of Christ  at the time of his Ascension.  They were still filled with the excitement of His resurrection and of the 40 days they had spent with Him afterwards.
Then came the Ascension, when he was taken up into heaven and suddenly the person who had been their life for the past few years, the person for whom they had given up everything, was physically gone from their midst.  They could no longer touch him or speak to him or ask him for guidance.
Christ had instructed them in vague terms just before the Ascension to “not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised.”  He said, “John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4-5).  And so the disciples, probably not knowing what else to do, gathered together in the place where they felt the closest to Jesus and each other: the Upper Room where they gathered for the Last Supper.
There, they elected Matthias to replace Judas, once again bringing their number to 12.  And they waited for what would come.  No doubt they were experiencing confusion, sadness, and fear.
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:1-4).
On that day, the Jewish feast of Pentecost, Peter delivered an inspiring sermon (Acts 2:14-40) and 3,000 men and women were baptized becoming the first “church” in Jerusalem (Acts 2:41-42).  The Apostles began to heal, to preach with a new confidence, and begin their separate — but equally important — missions throughout the world.
Personal Pentecost
The coming of the Holy Spirit (or Hokekaloust in Armenian) is celebrated by the Armenian Church, as in all Christian churches, 50 days after Easter.  As we celebrate that “birthday” of the Church, we also celebrate our own Pentecost.  For just as the Holy Spirit came to the Apostles on Pentecost, so too does the Holy Spirit come to each one of us on our personal Pentecost at the time of our chrismation or confirmation.
On the day of our baptism, when we are anointed with oil, we receive the sacrament of the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit dwells in the Church, so too does the Holy Spirit dwell in each one of us.  It is a personal gift to be experienced individually.  And if we are open to that gift, it can transform us and inspire us as it did the Apostles and the 3,000 men and women baptized on that Pentecost so long ago.
The Holy Spirit unites us to Christ and enables us to live a Christ-centered existence, in which the fruits of the Spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control — can grow and thrive (Galatians 5:22).

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