By Fr. Stratton Dorozenski
“When The Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord and one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts of the Apostles 2:1-4
From fearfully huddled in the upper room, they now departed with immeasurable faith, love, courage, and dedication spreading the message of salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of God to the whole world. On that day of Pentecost, fifty days after our Lord’s resurrection, Peter spoke with such great spiritual conviction and knowledge that over 3000 were baptized into Christ and His salvation. Following, as the Scripture writes, they continued steadfastly in doctrine, prayer, and the breaking of the bread (The Holy Eucharist).
Guided and directed by the Holy Spirit, the message of salvation in Christ Jesus permeated the Roman Empire and beyond. The fervent zeal of the Apostles and the truth of their message would be witnessed by many, and bring about their transformation and embracement of the Truth. The Church would grow despite the hideous and barbaric centuries of persecution and sufferings of the saintly martyrs, followed by an age of dogmatic and patristic growth, drawing the world into the net of salvation. The fire and zeal of the Church guided by Holy Spirit was and is a continuous Pentecost to the present day.
What is this continuous Pentecost? It is the deep spiritual reality of the Church and our deep relationship with Christ and one another. At every Divine Liturgy, we gather together in one accord, to break bread and receive the Holy and Sacred Mystery of the Holy Eucharist, the body and blood of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. At the consecration of the Holy gifts, the celebrant prays that the Holy Spirit will descend upon us, as it did with the Apostles individually and in unity, and upon the gifts offered.
Being filled with the fullness of Christ, sharing in the fire and zeal of the Apostles, we have the potential and ability to share in the joy of their sufferings and blessings, to be faithful examples to draw people to the fountain of salvation, through the sharing of the knowledge of the Scriptures and Fathers, to bring them to the knowledge and truth in Jesus Christ and the promise of everlasting life in His Kingdom. May our Church, parish, and faithful be nurtured and guided to the promise and zeal of A Continuous Pentecost!
Fr. Stratton is the Parish Priest of the St. Nicholas Church in Troy, Michigan. This article was originally published in the Shepherd's Staff Newsletter of June-August 2016.