Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘Peter’

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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Scriptual Reflection

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on August 23, 2009

As this week and last week progressed…as current events occurred that sent shock waves of concern across America, the following scriptures presented themselves…one by one…right up to today’s Gospel reading.  How well we begin and how ‘wow’ that it connects with more recent posts.

John 15: 5-11

5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If a man does not abide in Me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.

7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.

8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you; abide in My love.

10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Why is it so important that we abide in His Love and follow His commandments?  Isn’t it enough to perform wonders in His name or preach in His name?  Jesus tells us…

Mt 7: 21-27

21 “Not every one who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.

22 On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?’

23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you evildoers.’

24 “Every one then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; 25 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

The true Rock, the Catholic Church, established by Jesus on the foundation of Peter,

The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful.” For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.” CCC§882

Those who exercise their faith apart from the Church are not exercising faith at all but their own selfish desires, following in the foot steps of him who is already in the world…

26 And every one who hears these words of Mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; 27 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.”

2 Thes 2: 9-12

9 The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, 12 so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

It’s not a baby…its a zygote, a bunch of cells…if you are aged and/or infirm, you’re life is not worth living…if you are sick and in pain you should die to relieve your suffering…sounding familiar? Its part of that universal health care we’re not suppose to talk about…

Romans 1: 28-32

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. 29 They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

32 Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.

The setting is ripe and the people are ready to accept even worse decrees and declarations than have already been accepted…

Mt. 24:24

24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

John 6: 60-69

60 Many of His disciples, when they heard it, said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”

61 But Jesus, knowing in Himself that His disciples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where He was before?

63 It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.

65 And He said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted him by the Father.

66 After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. 67 Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

Do you know that Jesus is the ‘Holy One of God’?  Have you accepted His Kingship?  If not, you might find yourself becoming one of the many spoken of above.  When Christ returns, will He find faith, the Faith He established in His Church with the Rock as it’s foundation?

Recommended Reading

Will He Find Faith?
Persevere!

Pray the Rosary!

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