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So what was AND is Pentecost? …

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on June 4, 2017

TODAY IS PENTECOST!  Did you follow those THREE simple steps in Day 9 of the Novena?  Have YOU invited God’s Holy Spirit into YOUR heart?

All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer...

All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer…

First Published: June 12, 2011

A RECAP OF WHAT WE KNOW…

What IS the feast of Pentecost that brought all Jews back to Jerusalem even though a little over a month before they had just been there celebrating Passover?  This is what I found…

The origins and prescriptions for the feast of Pentecost can be found in : Numbers 28: 17-25, and in Leviticus 23: 23-37.  It was a feast of celebrating first fruits by offering up with fire burnt offerings of said first fruits, drink, and unblemished male animals.  Pentecost, like Passover, was a MAJOR FEAST and one that required all Jews in the land to attend (if they could) the ritual celebration offered in the Temple of God.

The Dictionary of the Bible on my Welcome to the Catholic Church CD-ROM, says this…

A liturgical feast among the Jews and the Christians.

1. Among the Jews a harvest feast, called Pentecost, was celebrated about seven weeks after the Passover or Pasch. This feast later commemorated the promulgation of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.

There’s that reference to the number Seven…remember God’s Perfect offering to His people? 

2. The Christian feast falls on the seventh Sunday after Easter. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. It is a harvest-feast of Christ, since on that day Christ’s Apostles, through the power of the Holy Spirit, lost their fear, went forth and preached courageously, and baptized thousands a great harvest of souls for the early Church (Acts 2:1-41).

I then did a quick search to see where else in the bible this particular feast was mentioned in any detail – besides the book of Acts which we’ll read later.  The two passages found demonstrate what I have said above. If you were a good practicing Jew you would go to Jerusalem to celebrate this great feast.  But, if for some unforeseen reason you can’t make it, then you would celebrate it where you were at…

I found this passage in the Book of Tobit…

I arrived home and my wife Anna and my son Tobias were restored to me, at the feast of Pentecost, which is the sacred festival of the seven weeks, a good dinner was prepared for me and I sat down to eat. ~Tobit 2:1, emphasis added

Again the “seven” of perfection…

I then found another passage in 2 Maccabees…

Then they went up to Jerusalem, as the feast of weeks was close at hand.  After the feast called Pentecost, they hastened against Gorgias, the governor of Idumea. ~2 Macc 12: 31b-32

I then found this very interesting tid-bit of a commentary that leads nicely into the account found in Acts 2… (emphasis added)

Introduction (NAB) on the Book of the Prophet Joel:

This prophecy is rich in apocalyptic imagery and strongly eschatological in tone. It was composed about 400 B.C.  Its prevailing theme is the day of the Lord.

A terrible invasion of locusts ravaged Judah.  So frightful was the scourge that the prophet visualized it as a symbol of the coming day of the Lord

In the face of this threatening catastrophe, the prophet summoned the people to repent, to turn to the Lord with fasting and weeping

They were ordered to convoke a solemn assembly in which the priests would pray for deliverance

The Lord answered their prayer and promised to drive away the locusts and bless the land with peace and prosperity.  To these material blessings would be added an outpouring of the Spirit on all flesh.   St. Peter, in his first discourse before the people at Pentecost (Act 2:16-21), sees in the coming of the Holy Spirit the fulfillment of this promise (Joel 1:1-2:32).

Let’s dive into Peter’s words on the day of Pentecost, shall we?…

All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer...

All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer…

But first, the Prologue…

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. ~Acts 1: 1-4, emphasis added.

Now Peter, humble, lowly Peter – who had denied Christ three times the night Jesus was betrayed- who had not the courage to speak up before this… (Check back and see how many times Peter actually spoke in the Gospel passages and you’ll see they are few and far between),  this quiet fisherman – gifted with the Holy Spirit – all of the sudden becomes BOLD and strong with authority! 

“Men of Israel, hear these words…”

Remember, they’re in Jerusalem, it’s crowded there, in fact we’re told at the end of this passage that some 3,000 were in attendance for Peter’s speech because they were baptized by Peter and the apostles at the end of his speech (Acts 2:41).  That’s a lot of people no matter where you’re at!  And yet, Peter spoke, he spoke with clarity and BOLDNESS, he held nothing back, and ALL WHO WERE PRESENT understood him!

And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? ~Acts 2: 6-8

Of course, there were those present who scoffed at this unbelievable occurrence, as there is even today when the unexplainable of God happens…

And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” ~Acts 2: 12-13

But THIS is what Peter SAID in return.  Pay close attention, he’s also talking to YOU..

Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.  For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out 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; yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.

And I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth beneath, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;  the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood,…’

(emphasis added)

We’re told in the Gospel of Luke (NAB translation) chapter 23 verses 44-45 that there was an “eclipse of the sun” which caused darkness to descend over that part of the earth from Noon until 3pm when Jesus expired.  Have you ever seen an eclipse of the Sun, when the moon comes between the earth and the sun?

If you have, you also know that when the moon comes up after an eclipse it’s still going to be in the earth’s shadow and WILL LOOK BLOOD RED. Something that does not bode well with the ancient world as that usually meant no good news…Didn’t Credence Clearwater write a song about that?…  “I see a bad moon a rising… I see trouble on the way…”   I wonder if they based their song on scripture?…

A Moon after a Lunar Eclipse…


before the day of the Lord comes, the great and manifest day. And it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ ~Acts 2: 14b-21, emphasis added

Of which, if you will recall, when Jesus was asked about this “great day”, He told them it was none of their concern and only the Father has that privileged information (see Acts 1: 6-8).  But now back to Peter’s address…

“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

But God raised Him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it.  For David says concerning Him,

‘I saw the Lord always before me, for He is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;  therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will dwell in hope. For Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let Thy Holy One see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; Thou wilt make me full of gladness with Thy presence.’ (Ps 16: 8-11)

~Acts 2: 22-28, emphasis added

Scripture, scripture, scripture!  Jesus and the healing of the paraplegic and the forgiving of his sins (Mt 9: 1-8), Jesus at the wedding feast in Cana where water became wine (Jn 2: 1-11), Jesus healing the blind, the sick and the lame (take your pick on those), and then Jesus raising those who have died (Luke 8: 49-56; 7: 11-17; John 11; 17, 38-44), many signs and wonders indeed!

“Brethren, I may say to you confidently of the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 

Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that He would set one of his descendants upon his throne, [David] foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption (see Ps 16:10).

This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured out this which you see and hear

For David did not ascend into the heavens; but he himself says,

The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, till I make Thy enemies a stool for Thy feet.’ (see Ps 110:1)

Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” ~Acts 2: 29-36, emphasis added (see also Mk 16: 19-20)

"Men of Israel, hear these words..."

“Men of Israel, hear these words…”

The testimony of the 11 Apostles, the physical evidence before those assembled – after all, they were still hearing the message in their own tongue – so why should they not be just a bit shaken? 

Probably most if not all of them where here in Jerusalem for the Passover as well, and may very well remember that Blood Moon that rose after the crucifixion of the prophet they called Jesus.  So it’s no wonder that they were “cut to the heart” and asked Peter what they should do. 

But Peter’s words are not just meant for them but for US as well

“Repent,…”

Gosh, does this sound familiar?… Repent, REPENT, repent

“…and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to Him.”

If the Lord God had not called YOU to Himself, you would not be reading this blog RIGHT NOW… This message is especially for YOU…

“And [Peter] testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”  ~Acts 2: 38-39, 40b, emphasis added

Did you hear that?  SAVE YOURSELVES FROM THIS CROOKED GENERATION!!!  Make no mistake about it, this generation is beyond pale with wicked deeds from the murder of over 55 million babies (and counting), to the breakdown of the family and MARRIAGE (which IS between one man and one woman), and the destruction of our youth that managed to survive past the scourge of abortion that has claimed so many of their peers.  We are in true evil, pure evil, whose only intent is the death and destruction of mankind, a.k.a. God’s own creation (cf. John 8:44). 

So what must you do?  Just what Peter said to do…become baptized for the forgiveness of your sins…

I’m already baptized, now what?…

Make a good confession “for the forgiveness of your sins”…hello!  That’s why Jesus established the Sacrament of Confession

And after I confess, then what?

With your sins forgiven you by God you “shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”, which if you need another reminder as to how powerful that is, revisit the 12 Fruits and the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit

And then?… Strive to live a life of Holiness!  Keep your focus on God, allow Him to work in your heart, follow His direction at all times, and do not doubt or fear because God will NEVER, EVER leave us!…You MUST TRUST HIM… because YOU are His child and He knows how to give great gifts (Mt 7: 7-11)!  That’s why we did the Novena… 🙂

Holiness is not achieved in a day, but achieved DAY BY DAY, moment by moment, it IS a LIFETIME endeavor.  But not one you do on your own, that’s what GRACE is for, and that comes ONLY from God.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful, enkindle in the them the Fire of Your Love. Send forth Your Spirit and we shall be created,  and You will renew the face of the earth!

O God, Who instructed the hearts of Thy faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit,
grant us by that same Spirit, to be truly wise,
and ever to rejoice in His consolation.
Through Christ our Lord, AMEN!

What God Did for US… the Passion Lamb

To Order a copy of the Star of Bethlehem for yourself, go here

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12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit…Chastity

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on May 24, 2017

The “Plum” of them all!

We have reached the end… the final of the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit…

The previous eleven Fruits are …

Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, GoodnessBenignity, Long Suffering, Mildness and Faith, Modesty and Continence.

The Twelfth Fruit of the Holy Spirit: CHASTITY

(12) Chastity – Helps one guard his/her senses so that they will not cause him/her to sin; it helps one regard his/her own body and those of others as temple of the Holy Spirit.

Companion To: Counsel and Wisdom

The virtue of chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance, which seeks to permeate the passions and appetites of the senses with reason. ~ CCC§2341

CHASTITY is also…

1. A moral virtue which rightly regulates all voluntary use of the generative faculty AND forbids misuse of that faculty for the sake of sexual pleasure.

In unmarried persons, the virtue of chastity demands total abstinence from the use of the generative faculty and the venereal pleasure attached

…not because pleasure is evil but because this faculty is rightly used only in the married state.

For the married, chastity means using the generative faculty according to its nature and refraining from such misuses of it as adultery, birth control, etc.

Sometimes in the New Testament the word chaste is used as practically equivalent to Virtuous (1 Pet. 3:2) but more usually it refers specifically to the virtue of chastity properly so called (2 Cor. 11:2; Tit. 2:5). ~ Encyclopedic Dictionary, Welcome to the Catholic Church, CD-ROM, emphasis added

It is because of this state…

The moral virtue which, under the cardinal virtue of temperance, provides for the successful integration of sexuality within the person leading to the inner unity of the bodily and spiritual being. ~Glossary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, emphasis added

Charity is the form of all the virtues. Under its influence, chastity appears as a school of the gift of the person. Self-mastery is ordered to the gift of self. Chastity leads him who practices it to become a witness to his neighbor of God’s fidelity and loving kindness. ~ CCC§2346, emphasis added

In other words, when we embrace CHASTITY we embrace all the other Fruits of the Spirit that allow our lives to live in CHARITY – that is – LOVE – Who is GOD (cf 1Jn 4:8).

We also can do as Christ commanded us, “Love your neighbor as yourself “ (Mt 22:39)…

The virtue of chastity blossoms in friendship. It shows the disciple how to follow and imitate Him who has chosen us as His friends (cf. Jn 15:15), who has given Himself totally to us and allows us to participate in His divine estate. Chastity is a promise of immortality.

Chastity is expressed notably in friendship with ones neighbor. Whether it develops between persons of the same or opposite sex, friendship represents a great good for all. It leads to spiritual communion. ~ CCC§2347, emphasis added

For all Believers in Christ are taught…

All the baptized are called to chastity. The Christian has “put on Christ” (Gal 3:27), the model for all chastity.  All Christ’s faithful are called to lead a chaste life in keeping with their particular states of life. At the moment of his Baptism, the Christian is pledged to lead his affective life in chastity. ~ CCC§2348, emphasis added

For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God, since I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. ~2 Cor 11:2

Therefore…

 “There are three forms of the virtue of chastity:

– the first is that of spouses,

– the second that of widows,

– and the third that of virgins.

We do not praise any one of them to the exclusion of the others. . . . This is what makes for the richness of the discipline of the Church.” ~St. Ambrose, De viduis 4, 23 (cf. CCC§2349)

Tomorrow the Novena (nine days of prayer) to the Holy Spirit begins!

4 Cardinal Virtues

1)Prudence – the correct knowledge of things to be done or avoided

2) Justice – a habitual inclination of the will to give everyone his or her rightful due

3) Fortitude – a firmness of spirit or steadiness of the will to do good despite the obstacles found in our daily life.

4) Temperance – moderates the desire for pleasure and restrains the inordinate movements of our desires or appetites

Recommended Reading:

Soon Arrival of Pentecost
7 GIFTS of the Holy Spirit

Removing the Restrainer

The Hard Truth Part II

The Readings Concerning the Coming Passion of Christ’s Church

Lesson in Sacred Scripture
Part I
Part II
Part III

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