“Veni, Sancte Spiritus” (“Come, Holy Spirit”)
by David Morrison
During the season of Advent, we welcome the return of Jesus as king of the eternal, peaceable kingdom. At Christmas, we wonder at him as the newborn Savior into the world–Emmanuel, God-With-Us. In the Lenten season, we are initiated into the passion, death on the cross, and burial of Jesus, the man of sorrows. At the Pasch, we are reborn with the Risen Lord at the empty tomb, and we go with Him in spirit in His ascension to heaven. Now, at Pentecost, we yearn for the descent of the Holy Spirit on the church. The church, in its multitude of expressions, still looks back to it’s birth on the day of Pentecost. We also look forward to a renewal of the Holy Spirit in our lives so that our mission of living the Gospel will be empowered.
The Jewish Feast of Pentecost (Greek, for “50”) took place 50 days after the Feast of First Fruits. Israel celebrated this feast (Hebrew, “Shavuot”) in commemoration of Moses receiving the Law on Mount Sinai. It also marked the wheat harvest. It was on this day when the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples making them apostles (“sent ones”) to the nations for a great harvest age of souls in all the nations until the return of Jesus as King of Kings. The Holy Spirit continues to fill and empower believers in every generation so that the great harvest may be completed.
In this season, we contemplate the Holy Spirit’s invitation to make us His disciples. It is He who not only fills us with power for the sake of proclaiming and demonstrating the Gospel of the Kingdom, but it is also He who engages us with the divine and intimate conversation between the Father and the Son. Let’s make ourselves “open to receive the Spirit’s flame so that it will come to rest in our hearts” (Opening Prayer).