The Ultimate Teacher
Pentecost Sunday – WK 1
My dear brothers and sisters today is Pentecost, the day which God sent the Holy Spirit to the disciples. Therefore, it is right to pray – ‘God, come to my assistance’ -because Jesus said that he would. In each of these promises of God, we are reminded that each promise was a lesson in and of itself. So, let us say in a loud voice – ‘Alleluia, the Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world; come, let us worship him, alleluia!’
'30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. 31 He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.' - Acts 5:30-32 New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995)
Remember my brothers and sisters, God did not send angels to break the disciples out of prison for no reason. Likewise, He did not leave them bound in jail cells without a plan. God did not let them loose from man’s chains so they could live a life of creature comforts in relative safety! Nor did he remove any of us from temptation, for even Jesus suffered the urges of sin. No, God freed the disciples so they could challenge the establishment! So that they could go about His business with as much vigor as they had been previously. Remember, the disciples lived on the edge before and after each imprisonment! The same can be said about those who are the children of light, sons, and daughters of God! Our lives are not always filled with roses. Nor was a path promised to always be straight and narrow. God did not promise this path He put us on for His name’s sake would be scented with aromatic scents all the time. He did not promise our lives would be filled each and every hour of our existence with peace and enjoyment! No… far, far from it! But God did promise to be present in our lives guiding us and showing us the way we should go.
GUIDING QUESTION 1: ‘Why then if God allows such suffering would anyone push His message forward in this world?’
ANSWER: Know this, God’s word is holy and must go forth for the salvation of the world. His message is universal making it relevant to all ages.
GUIDING QUESTION 2: ‘So how are God’s promises, divine word, and lessons for all ages, especially today?’
ANSWER: By His love, by sending His only son to take away our sins, and by showing us His true nature which is love, for God is love. By giving us the opportunity to partake in His divine love. We are His children, students, and His teachers in waiting. We are taught by the master teacher through the words found in the Holy Bible. Words that are for all men and women from every generation, for we all were made to thirst for His knowledge.
What is Found Within Pentecost?
Within Pentecost, we find the most basic instruction that is also a direct fulfillment of what Jesus commanded, not to mention the fulfillment of prophecy by the minor prophet Joel.
'Wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard, (saith he) by my mouth. For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence.' - Acts 1: 4-5 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
Therefore, aren’t we all also told to wait? For God gives to those who obey and are steadfast, disciplined, filled with His righteous love, and who do not judge others. God gives graciously to His children… wait for it! In His good time.
'It is not for you to know the time or moments, which the Father hath put in his own power: But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost parts of the earth. - Acts 1: 7-8 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
As for Joel the son of Phatuel: He prophesied a time when God would pour out his spirit upon all flesh, wonders will abound, and anyone who calls out to the Lord will be saved. In Acts 2:16 the morning of Pentecost John declares this prophecy has been fulfilled.
'17 And it shall come to pass, in the last days, (saith the Lord,) I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And upon my servants indeed, and upon my handmaids will I pour out in those days of my spirit, and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will shew wonders in the heaven above, and signs on the earth beneath: blood and fire, and vapour of smoke. 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and manifest day of the Lord come. 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.' - Acts 2:17-21 (DRA)
Man’s Reaction to Christ’s Teachings
Jesus Christ, who we Christians, declare in Church on Sundays to be our Lord and Savior. To whom we praise and pray, yet in our modern world we question his very existence and even His relevance. In the bible we find Him teaching many relevant lessons based on morality and the tenets of basic humanity. Yet in our technological world, we seem to have forgotten these most basic of lessons. In many ways, His own disciples one hand praised and followed Him, but on the other did not completely understand His teachings. For they were the perfect representation of the human condition. This absolute and complete understanding didn’t come until after Pentecost. As mortal men and women His death on the cross, to which he forewarned was going to happen, and still, they resisted it. When Christ died as foretold they feared for their own lives held up in a room not knowing what to do left bickering with each other. They were crushed even though Christ said He alone was the way to everlasting life. In every instance, they saw through the eyes of non-believing sinful mortals. Likewise, their love for Him in many ways was not adequate for such a person as Christ Jesus.
Yet, He forgave them anyway, as His perfect love gives all of mankind the opportunity to receive His love. This love of Jesus allowed Him to teach the disciples regardless, showing them the way and loving them until the last. He promised them that they would see Him again, and indeed for forty days was He with them in His glorified body, for His loving kindness never wavered! Even during this period, Jesus kept teaching them about heaven and about God. Yet, the bible says they still doubted in the face of many unexplainable miracles.
I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating it is to teach children whose minds are focused on mischief and fun. Never taking seriously the life lessons we teachers are paid to teach them, many times not paid enough! When I say it is a calling that becomes a work of love and for others a mission to teach, I mean it! For me, it is not as much about the money but rather the investment in my student’s future success. Do others take advantage of my love for my students? Absolutely, but wasn’t Jesus sometimes taken advantage of, His teachings twisted to suit some political end? It is through my teaching career that I have become closer and have understood more about God. I have found a deeper more intrinsic value in teaching worth more than a field staked with gold! I have become way more disciplined with my words and my actions. No amount of military training I underwent could ever do that!
In retrospect, I can relate to Jesus’s frustration with His disciples, not to mention the entire world. One of my favorite Psalms speaks about this. It is a reflection of how God Himself felt about the Jews led by Moses while in the desert.
'8 To day if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts: 9 As in the provocation, according to the day of temptation in the wilderness: where your fathers tempted me, they proved me, and saw my works. 10 Forty years long was I offended with that generation, and I said: These always err in heart.' - Psalm 94: 8-10 (DRA)
Many, many times my colleagues and I ask why we still want to teach. For me, It’s because I was called to this profession as the disciples were called to do the will of God even until death. The thirst to teach and the drive to continue teaching others is in my DNA! Like Jesus, I know not all my students completely understood the logic behind my lessons. I know it will take some sort of profound life-changing moment to bring them to the understanding I strived so hard to bring them to in the classroom. I know this to be true as plenty of my former students have visited over the years telling me as much.
So, when our Lord and savior says to wait, be patient, and be disciplined in waiting, trust me, there is a good reason. For everything happens not in our time but in God’s good time. During Pentecost, the disciples were rewarded with God’s complete and total understanding. They saw their collective mission knowing the importance of telling the world about it. They risked everything regardless of what would happen to them personally. During Pentecost, they received the proverbial answer key to Jesus’s lessons. They took that profound knowledge and ran with it! It can be said that every single disciple faced death with monumental courage, an example we all should strive for.
It’s extremely important, however, to see their accomplishments from a teacher’s perspective. For Pentecost, is about being filled with the courage to help others understand, accept, and look at the world through more evolved eyes. It is about facing down that fear of knowing not everyone will understand or even believe. Having the wisdom to cope knowing there will be some that will be lost in this race. But for those who strive to understand no matter how many times it takes the exercise proves to be worth it! But for each attempt that consists of love, forgiveness, and understanding, a lost soul will be won over. The lesson of Pentecost teaches us that Jesus was also filled with the power of the same Holy Ghost, as we are also even in this modern world.
Moreover, Jesus promised that those who follow Him would be able to do as He had done – minus the saving of the world part.
'12 Otherwise believe for the very works' sake. Amen, amen I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do.' - John 14:12 (DRA).
LETS US PRAY
Let us pray for Ukraine and their fight for sovereignty, for their people who have suffered much within an unprovoked war, not of their own making. May the Lord protect the people of Ukraine and shelter them and uplift their hearts while continuing to build their courage. Together, may we petition the Lord to send His Holy Spirit to comfort them and all nations who desire unity, peace, and mutual respect. Lord God, Father of all mankind, you desire to gather together your scattered children in unity and faith and enlighten the world by the grace of the Holy Spirit. For, through the Holy Ghost, you raised up your Son from the dead, so also Lord we ask that you raise up the bodies of the Ukraine dead into everlasting life.
9 Thus, therefore, shall you pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our supersubstantial bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.Matthew 6:9-13 – Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
A Prayer for Protection
ANTIPHON: ‘Alleluia, the Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world; come, let us worship him, alleluia!’
INVITATORY – PSALM 95
Venite exultemus An invitation to adore and serve God, and to hear his voice. "Encourage each other daily while it is still today." Hebrews 3:13 1 Come let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God our saviour. 2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise to him with psalms. (Antiphon repeated) 3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 For in his hand are all the ends of the earth: and the heights of the mountains are his. (Antiphon repeated) 5 For the sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. 6 Come let us adore and fall down: and weep before the Lord that made us. (Antiphon repeated) 7 For he is theLord our God: and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. 8 To day if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts: (Antiphon repeated) 9 As in the provication, according to the day of temptation in the wilderness: where your fathers tempted me, they proved me, and saw my works. 10 Forty years long was I offended with that generation, and I said: 'These alwats err in heart.' (Antiphon repeated) 11 And these men have not known my ways: so I swore in my wrath that they shall not enter into my rest. (Antiphon repeated)
3 Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 One body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling. 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism. 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all. – Ephesians 4:3-6 (DRA)
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. – Amen
Saint Joseph Pray for us. Sancte Ioseph, Ora pro nobis
Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’
NOW GO SPREAD THE WORD!
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