A CONTINUOUS PENTECOST
“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 baptized?’ They said, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ And Paul said, ‘John baptized 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 baptized 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. There were about twelve of them in all.” (Acts 19: 1-7)
This incident at Ephesus appears to be another Pentecost: the Holy Spirit comes upon some disciples, “about twelve of them in all,” and they speak in tongues and prophesy. It reminds me that the “apostolic” work of the Church is indeed “a continuous Pentecost,” (to use an expression of the Holy and Great Council convened in Crete in June 2016), by which the Holy Spirit continues to (re-)introduce Himself to us, the disciples of Jesus Christ.
As we continue our journey toward the great feast of Pentecost, let me take pause and “clean house.” Let me clear away any resentments, fears, or other “spirits” from my heart, if they’ve crept in there with all their baggage. This morning I hand them over to God, and make room for the Holy Spirit, in humility, forgiveness, and gratitude for everything and everyone, including myself. “Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation, and with Your governing Spirit establish me.” (Ps 50/51: 12)