Miracles of the First Pentecost

Sounds of a Strong Wind!

Pentecost (SOL)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

1-4 When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them. – Acts 2:1-4 Message Bible (MSG)

For the Vigil of Pentecost – Click Here
Pentecost – It’s All About Math!

Lesson Starter 1

The word Pentecost means, “fifty” which is a Greek word. Biblically speaking Jesus was with the disciples for about 40 days after his resurrection, then after he ascended the disciples waited “ten” more days equalling “fifty” days or Pentecost. However, this also coincides with a Jews festival known as Shebuot or “Weeks” originally a grain harvest festival that later was associated with God giving the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai. Taking this information we can connect the disciples being Jewish having to wait mere weeks before Pentecost. Also, interestingly enough Jerusalem was filled with people, (primarily Jews), from all over the Middle East because of this celebration of  God giving to Moses the Torah or the law. Therefore, in both Christain and Jewish traditions, this day is the starting point of God’s declaration of a new life with Him; one being of law and the other being of the spirit. Moreover, this connects both religions in a very profound way; the fulfillment of a divine plan for all mankind under “one” all-powerful God.

PENTECOST QUESTION ONE: How would you summarize the math of Pentecost and how does it affect our time today?

Pentecost – It’s All About SYMBOLOGY!

Lesson Starter 2

Pentecost is full of miracles chalk full of a rich heritage that at its core is all about stoking the fires of our souls and receiving a new purified life with God. In a sense, we are purified by God’s holy flame that burns deep inside us. We are brought to this new life by God’s very breath as He breathes into our nostrils via the Holy Spirit.

DID YOU KNOW? There are several symbols in the bible that clue people into the idea that God or those he has sent has shown up. Consider this example;

WindEzekiel 37:9  Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.’ – New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit comes as a wind, as in how Jesus describes to Nicodemus the new birth experience – John 3:8, “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Thus the work of the Holy Spirit breathes into us a new – reborn life and as it does so we human beings cannot see it nor completely recognize it but instead it is something we feel deep down inside. As in the case of Pentecost the Holy Spirit does not come as a gentle breeze but a rushing wind – symbolizing His power and His guidance. That sound of the rushing wind is what drew the crowd. Jesus told his disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit, and in this act, The Spirit serves as the sovereign God which is dynamic, irresistible, and unstoppable.

PENTECOST QUESTION TWO: Why are symbols so important? Doing some research on this topic what other symbols are attributed to the Holy Spirit?

Pentecost – It’s All About one Dramatic sermon!

Lesson Starter 3

With the crowd assembled they hear those in the upper room talking in tongues, astonished the people begin saying among themselves, “They’re speaking our own languages, describing God’s mighty works!” – Acts 2:11 (MSG) In this crowd was hundreds of people from what are now Israel, Iran, Irag, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, Italy, Crete, and Jordan.

“That’s when Peter stood up and, backed by the other eleven, spoke out with bold urgency: “Fellow Jews, all of you who are visiting Jerusalem, listen carefully and get this story straight. These people aren’t drunk as some of you suspect. They haven’t had time to get drunk—it’s only nine o’clock in the morning. This is what the prophet Joel announced would happen: “In the Last Days,” God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters; your young men will see visions, your old men dream dreams. When the time comes, I’ll pour out my Spirit on those who serve me, men and women both, and they’ll prophesy. I’ll set wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billowing smoke, the sun turning black and the moon blood-red, before the Day of the Lord arrives, the Day tremendous and marvelous; and whoever calls out for help to me, God, will be saved.” 

“Fellow Israelites, listen carefully to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man thoroughly accredited by God to you—the miracles and wonders and signs that God did through him are common knowledge—this Jesus, following the deliberate and well-thought-out plan of God, was betrayed by men who took the law into their own hands and was handed over to you. And you pinned him to a cross and killed him. But God untied the death ropes and raised him up. Death was no match for him. David said it all: I saw God before me for all time. Nothing can shake me; he’s right by my side. I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic; I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope, I know you’ll never dump me in Hades; I’ll never even smell the stench of death. You’ve got my feet on the life-path, with your face shining sun-joy all around.” Acts 2:28 (MSG) 

Many more things were said then Peter finished with this;

“Peter said, ‘Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is targeted to you and your children, but also to all who are far away—whomever, in fact, our Master God invites.’ He went on in this vein for a long time, urging them over and over, “Get out while you can; get out of this sick and stupid culture!Acts 2:38-40 (MSG) 

In all about 3000 Jews were converted to Christianity! (Acts 2:41) Simply put God breathed into the world a new movement that would spread all over the world and convert millions. In many ways, we can say that this was the Birth of Christianity & Birth of the Church! This is why Pentecost is the very core of our Religion and why it is a time of new life. “For Catholics, this is when we dare to hope for our own resurrection and eternal life with God.”The Catholic Faith Handbook For Youth 3rd Edition, pg. 178 (Easter Season) Saint Mary’s Press

PENTECOST QUESTION THREE: What does Pentecost mean to you personally?

LET US PRAY
Christian Prayer:

The Liturgy of the Hours

Lord, open my lips.

– And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Glory to the Father, and Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia.

PSALMODY: Pentecost Sunday: Alleluia, the Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world; come, let us worship him, alleluia.

PSALM 63:2-9

A SOUL THIRSTING FOR GOD

Whoever has left the darkness of sin, yearns for God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting. My body pines for you like a dry, weary land without water. So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory.

– Alleluia, the Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world; come, let us worship him, alleluia.

For your love is better than life, my lips will speak your praises. So I will bless you all my life, in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, my mouth shall praise you with joy.  

– Alleluia, the Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world; come, let us worship him, alleluia.

On my bed, I remember you. On you I muse through the night for you have been my help; in the shadow of your wings, I rejoice. My soul clings to you; your right hand holds me fast.

– Alleluia, the Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world; come, let us worship him, alleluia.

(To Pray the Liturgy of the Hours as in the PENTECOST SOLEMNITY click here

PRAYER

Father in heaven, fifty days have celebrated the fullness of the mystery of your revealed love. See your people gathered in prayer, open to receive the Spirit’s flame. May it come to rest in our hearts and disperse the divisions of word and tongue. With one voice and one song may we praise your name in joy and thanksgiving. Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Happy Birthday Church… may your love, light, and peace shine on in the Holy Spirit forever and ever.

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember your never alone.

Amen, Alleluia!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

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Where Peace Begins

Peace Left by Jesus

27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

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Have you ever wondered why some people just seem to never be able to find peace in their lives? Have you ever wondered why they are always sower towards others, nothing is ever fair or just in their eyes, and they seem to enjoy this self-inflicted agony? I’ve known people like this. I’ve seen how they imitate happiness but it never lasts for long. Things that have happened in their lives are never their fault because it’s easier to blame others. Responsibility for their own actions is a foreign idea and never seems to apply to them. So why the misery, why the drama, why do they run so far and fast from peace?

Self-Worth vs. God’s Peace

11 “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the Lord—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

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To understand this behavior we first must understand why the human race ignores God’s ministry of Peace. At this point, it would be all too easy to say that we are all sinners. Yes, that is part of it, but not the whole picture. Rather we must dig deeper and look for that character flaw that some people exploit more so than others called self-worth. It works like this, many people have lived hard lives, as children they are subjected to crappie things that are at the first outside of their control. The craziness of their lives become addicting, much like a drug. The older they get the more they are told how worthless they are until they begin to believe it. At some point, they begin to expect the bad in life, and they chose to ignore the good. This becomes a routine of bad choices that cascade one after another. Now logically speaking they know they should strive for peace in their life, but they are their own worst enemy as the choices they make repeals peace. These broken people believe that they do not deserve to be happy as every attempt fails. So they ignore that singular voice within their hearts and run away not feeling good enough to receive God’s peace. They run and hide because the cannot believe that God has a plan for them that includes happiness and peace here on Earth. They cannot believe that God wants to take control!  But I say to you my brothers and sisters who are broken, God wants to instill his plan into your heart and take all the bad and turn it into good which glories His love for you!

Remember that Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.”

Every time I read this I feel at peace. Why? Because I believe with all my heart and soul that God’s peace is everlasting. I believe blindly in the idea that Jesus really said that.  I believe that Jesus is real and loved us so much that he would die to give us a chance at receiving that everlasting peace.

So, why can people like me believe and other people just can’t quite make that leap of faith? Because they believe they do not deserve God’s love, because they expect nothing but the bad in life. The difference is I do not expect to be saved rather I hope to be saved according to God’s word. Whereas, the broken person dwells in the expectation that bad is all they can hope for, which leaves them without hope of salvation. Thus, if you give in to hopelessness then you in truth shackle your life to this world and to the expectations of a life mired in sin! You give up on the hope God has for you, the salvation he won for you, and the everlasting peace he left in your care.

Conversion

19 “Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away,” ~ Acts 3:19 (NABRE)

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Again, logically speaking the only way out of this hopelessness is to be converted! This means you must die to your sins and be reborn in the glory of the Lord, Jesus Christ! Scary sounding… right? Well to the nonbeliever it is the scariest thing they will ever do. Ok, so how do you convert someone who is broken?  Believe me, when I say it’s easier said than done, but it begins with being the example in every aspect of your life, teaching that God’s grace can be found in everything be it in the good or bad things of this world. Yes, being the example by living your faith, practicing what you preach, do what you say, believe with all your heart, mind, and soul in the words and promises of God. To be a witness to others who need help in believing, who need you to be their a road map to faith, and a guide to those broken down and beaten by this world who expect nothing but bad and show them kindness, love, and mercy. Conversion doesn’t happen overnight, rather it takes time for people to hear, then reacts to God’s call. But know God is calling and He is using you to make that connection!

There is hope, there is love, there is mercy, and there is peace in this world. But the peace we all should strive for is the peace of salvation in the Lord, Jesus Christ!

Amen.

My brothers and sisters, if you enjoyed this message today then I invite you to contact me directly at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com. Let’s open a dialog and share the good news with each other.

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