The Feast of Pentecost

    06.01.18 | Articles Theology by Fr. Alexander Leondis

    It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”

    The eternal the Son of God, Jesus Christ becomes incarnate for our salvation to restore us once again to the pre-fallen state in Eden. We recently relived these saving events which brought these about; the Lord’s Crucifixion, His Passion and His glorious Resurrections. 

    The Lord’s promise of sending the Comforter is realized on Pentecost Day. On this day, the Holy Spirit descends on the apostles and the Church is established. The Church is given its essence, the real presence of God by the Holy Spirit, which transforms the disciples from fishermen to fishers of people, drawing all who believe into the nets of the Church. 

    The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity, continues the work of Christ by enabling and empowering the disciples and the clergy through the centuries to lead all people to salvation. The New Adam, Christ, replaces the old Adam. We are no longer subjected to the desires of the flesh, as was with the old Adam, but in Christ we are able to soar to the heavens and participate in the life of Eden, life in Paradise once again. At Pentecost the new age and a new creation begins for all believers. 

    We no longer walk in the darkness of evil and ignorance as we did after the Fall, but in the light of God. We belong not only to this world, but simultaneously to the heavenly. Human nature is exalted, for the Lord resurrects our human body to a new spiritual body and places it on the right hand of the Father together with his own body. The Holy Spirit now is man’s companion, giving him the strength to free himself from the bondage of evil and to live in the Lord. All believers are once again found in God’s favor as they were before the Fall in the Garden Eden. 

    The Holy Spirit, received at Chrismation, grants us the gifts or fruit of the Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23) These beautiful gifts are ours. What great comfort the Comforter bestows on us!

    Love is given first place in the gallery of God’s gifts. Like beautiful pictures, they offer beauty to the soul they adorn. Love is considered the root of all Christian virtues. All virtues are nourished by love. If the root is cut from a tree, the tree will die. If the root of God’s love is lacking from our soul, then all virtues are in danger of dying within us. 

    Love is God working in us drawing us closer to himself. It takes two people to love. God offers love and we receive it as a gift and in turn we offer love to the Lord and to others. Love reconciles the estranged, makes the unbelievers believers, the indifferent enthusiastic, the anxious meek and the proud humble. To love and not be transformed or transforming is not to love at all.

    The joyous message of Pentecost is that God’s love is among us through the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, “Christ is among us, he is and shall always be” now and for all eternity. As the Saint Mark parish, the love of Christ binds us together into his Body, the Church. As we grow in our love for Christ, we grow also in our love for each other. 

    “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit!”