“While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ And they said, ‘No, we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ And he said, ‘Into what then were you baptised?’ They said, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ And Paul said, ‘John baptised with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” (Acts 19: 1-6)
Today, on the “Leavetaking of Pascha,” with just ten more days to go until the Descent of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost), I’m thinking about these “disciples,” who “never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” They were already “disciples” of Jesus Christ for several years, and yet so ignorant, until St. Paul enlightens them.
Today, when many of us Christians, even those properly baptised, are insufficiently catechised and remain ignorant of the basic truths of our faith, I’m thinking that there is nothing new about this state of affairs. Even in our ignorance we are no less “disciples” of Jesus Christ, albeit in need of further enlightenment in the Holy Spirit. O Lord, as we prepare for Pentecost, “come and abide in us,” and teach us those things we still need to learn.