(June 23)

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.” (Acts 2: 1-6)

We address the Holy Spirit as “Giver of Life” (ζωῆς χορηγός, жизни подателю), because His “grace” (i.e., divine energies) is unifying. He both unifies and orders everything and us, when we open up to Him, to what He wants to say to us and do with us, so that we can move forward and be productive, rather than destructive.

On Day One of creation, He “hovered over the (darkness of the) face of the waters,” so as to prepare the material world that was initially “without form and void” for the light and the rest of creation, which was to be called and ordered into existence by our Triune God next. It is by His grace, as He also “hovers over” our initial chaos, that the crippling fragmentation both within each of us and among all of us is overcome. We begin truly to move forward and to “live,” when we surrender to Him the “other” energies or spirits that confuse our sense of purpose, like despondency, self-centered fears, and resentments, and join the creative flow of energies that comes from the Oneness of our Triune God.

We celebrate this mystery in a big way on Pentecost, which happened on a Sunday, which is Day One of the week, corresponding to Day One of creation, remembering with gratitude that unity and order are made possible in our world thanks to the continuous “hovering over” it, and Descent onto us, of the Holy Spirit. As we Orthodox Christians celebrate Pentecost today, let me let God sweep me up by the “wind” of His unifying grace, into communion with Him and others, as He meant me to be. “O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere and fillest all things; Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life – come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One!