The Coming of the Holy Spirit
Think of the times when you asked for help and the times when your friends asked for your help. As children of God we have to help each other. Jesus promised His disciples that He would asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit to help them. He said, “I am sending the promise of my Father to you.” When Jesus said this, He was talking about the Holy Spirit. (read Luke 24:49)
40 days after Jesus rose from the dead, He returned to the Father by ascending into heaven (we call this event the Ascension). Ten days later, when the Apostles were praying in a room with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the Holy Spirit descended upon them (we call this event the Descent of the Holy Spirit). The Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles during Pentecost, which is 50 days after the Resurrection. Here is the story of Pentecost (read Acts of the Apostles 2:1-4):
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.
Pentecost is regarded as the birthday of the Church. After the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles, they were no longer afraid, and they boldly proclaimed the Gospel to all the people. The Church celebrates Pentecost each year with a special Mass. After Easter and Christmas, Pentecost is the third most important feast day of the Church.
God sent the Holy Spirit to us too. The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts like wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. These are called the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit; they help us to believe and trust in God, they help us to know Jesus Christ better, they help us to live as children of God and followers of Jesus. We pray to the Holy Spirit to guide, teach and help us.
Here is a short prayer to the Holy Spirit. It is called the “Come, Holy Spirit” prayer:
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. Amen.
- True or False. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to His disciples.
- How many days after the Resurrection did Jesus ascend into heaven?
- How many days after the Resurrection did the Holy Spirit descend upon the Apostles?
- What happened to the Apostles after they were filled with the Holy Spirit?
- True or False. Christmas is regarded as the birthday of the Church.
- What are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit?