Today on Sunday, June 4, we celebrate the birth of the Church. Christ’s Church was founded on Pentecost, 50 days after the resurrection of Christ. Before ascending into heaven, Christ had given the eleven disciples instructions to remain in Jerusalem and “wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1 4-5). They were to wait until they were baptized by the Holy Spirit. The disciples chose Matthias to replace Judas Iscariot. On the day of Pentecost, the twelve Apostles were gathered.
“And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability” (Acts 2:3-4).
According to Acts, after witnessing this event and hearing Peter and the other Apostles speaking in all of their own languages, various languages from across the Roman Empire that the Apostles did not know prior to receiving the Holy Spirit, those in the crowd “were cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37), repented, and about three thousand were baptized and became followers of Christ.
The Holy Spirit is one person of the Trinity. He dwells within every true Christian. It is He that reveals Christ to us and makes the will of the Father known to us. He speaks love to our hearts. It is through the Holy Spirit that we are able to develop our relationship with God. If we hear His voice, we can experience the presence of God. The coming of the Holy Spirit was prophesied in the Old Testament:
“A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).
“I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 31:33).
The law is Christ’s new commandments to love God and to love others as ourselves. The Holy Spirit speaks to us the language of love. He speaks to us of humility, mercy, compassion, patience, kindness, forgiveness, and generosity. If we do not harden our hearts, we will hear His voice. We will hear the voice of God in our hearts.
From these humble beginnings, Christianity spread across the globe to include billions who call themselves Christians today. We are grateful for the twelve Apostles and Paul of Tarsus, who began a ministry of spreading the gospel or “Good News” throughout the known world.