Descent of the Holy Spirit – Pentecost

Today, we unspeakably rejoice as we are celebrating the Feast commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit; Today, we rejoice, because in a way it’s the “birthday of our Church!” Today, guided by His infinite love for the Son, the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from the Father, with infinite obedience, hasten to fulfil Son’s desire and descends upon the apostles. Until now, the Spirit was the One who was led the Christ, and now, Christ is the One who is sending the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit of Pentecost testifies the Christ, proclaiming the risen Lord as eternally present among us. With Pentecost continues Christ’s incarnation inside in the life of the Church. This is what happens through the Holy Spirit on the Holy Liturgy, on the Eucharistic consecration. And this is what is happening in our entire life in Christ.

Today, on the day of Pentecost, we are given with indescribable grace. For what happened on this day with the apostles and the Holy Mother (Acts 2: 1-4), the same is happening with any of us, immediately after baptism, when we receive the sacrament of anointing with The Holy Myrrh, by which the use of Holy Chrism symbolize the transmission of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the baptized. For each of us, this is our personal Pentecost: The Holy Spirit visibly descended from heaven in the form of tongues of fire, filling the entire house where the Apostles were sitting, and one sad upon each one of them. In the same manner, invisibly, but not with less power descends the Holy Spirit today on us. Everyone becomes an “anointed one” sealed with the grace of the Comforter. From the moment of our baptism or anointing, the Holy Spirit, together with the Christ, comes to us and dwells in the deepest temple of our heart. However, if we do not cooperate with God’s Grace, if we do not voluntarily begin to fight with ourselves for the fulfilment of Christ’s commandments – then the presence of the Holy Spirit in us remains hidden and fruitless. That is why our sacred Christian duty, through a virtuous and holy life in the Church, to continually seek the grace of the Holy Spirit; and when in that manner, the Pentecost’s sparks of the Holy Spirit, present in each of us after baptism, will kindle in a living flame – then the Spirit will bear His fruits. Holy Spirit’s fruits are: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Against such, there is no law” (Gal. 5:22-23).

By glorifying the infinite mercy of God, according to which we, the fallen and sinful people, are given the gift of the Holy Spirit, our Monastery celebrated the solemn birth of the “Mother Church”. The grace shone in the Church already on Saturday evening’s service, and today it was announced in full splendour to crown this heavenly, festive celebration. And the morning service, with its God-inspired verses, prepared us all for the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Divine Liturgy, led by our Elder and Abbot Parthenius and Hieromonks, confirmed His presence as true testimony. For where He is, where everything is filled with peace and joy. Truly, the heavenly grace of the Holy Spirit was quietly dwelling in the hearts of us and of all those who today was unanimously gathered in the Church of the Forerunner, which today, mysteriously, transformed the upper chamber of Jerusalem.

Transported with the spirit to that room of Zion, we were like a thirsty soil on which slowly fell the dew of life-giving words while kneeling and listening to the prayers for the call of the Holy Spirit, which after the Liturgy were read by our Elder and Archimandrite Parthenius, encouraging all faithful present lovers of the Spirit of God to calmly ask a revelation from Him.

Come, Holy Spirit, come Comforter and increase the faith in us! Give us freedom to God in our prayers and revive our hearts with the dew of Your grace! Warm us, the cold-blooded sinners; come and give us peace, joy and forgiveness! Come and visit all who are thirsty for Your enlightenment! Amen!