At Pentecost our thoughts are of course about the Holy Spirit – but in fact the word Pentecost means the ‘fiftieth day’. This is significant if we take a look back though salvation history. The fiftieth day was an original Jewish feast commemorating the day that the Ten Commandments were given to the people. Fifty days after the Jewish people were set free from Pharaoh, they received ‘the law’. Remember they were so very proud of the law. No other people have a law like ours they would say. Other peoples had laws but they were codes of conduct, rules and regulations, don’t do this, don’t do that…Not so for the chosen people their law could structure their lives and society. To love God and your neighbor – this law led to freedom.
This was the celebration for which the Apostles and Mary had gathered. Yes fifty days after the ‘new Passover’, the death and resurrection of Jesus, God gave another profound gift, the actual means by which the law could be lived fearlessly, the Holy Spirit. We can live the law of love now because the love of God has been given us. The Holy Spirit, the love which exists between the Father and the Son, this love is poured out on the Church on the fiftieth day, Pentecost.
What a beautiful design from God. The Old Testament, the New Testament, the Passover, Calvary, the Ten Commandments and the Law of Love, all these come together and are completed in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people, and enkindle in them the fire of your love…