My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
THE HOLY AND GREAT FEAST OF PENTECOST
(Celebrated on June 16th this year)
By His Eminence Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, Greece HIEROTHEOS
Before Christ Ascended into Heaven Hi gave a command to His Disciples to return to Jerusalem after His Ascension and remain there until they were invested with power from Heaven. Thus He gave them the promise that they would receive the Holy Spirit, about which He had spoken during His life.
This promise by Christ to the Disciples was realized fifty (50) days after Pascha and ten days after His Ascension to Heaven. Thus in the Church, we observe the Feast of Pentecost, in which we honor the Holy Trinity, and on the following day, we celebrate and glorify the Holy Spirit. So the feast of Pentecost is a feast of the Holy Trinity.
The feast of Pentecost is also included in what the Church calls the "Twelve Feasts" because it is the last feast of the Divine Economy. The Incarnation of Christ was aimed at victory over death and the coming of the Holy Spirit into the hearts of men. Moreover, it is well known that the purpose of the ecclesiastical and spiritual life is that we should become members of the Body of Christ and receive the Holy Spirit. These two are inseparably linked together.
The holy hymnographer calls Pentecost the last feast concerning man's reformation and renewal: "Let us, believers, joyfully celebrate a last feast: it is Pentecost, fulfillment, and deadline of a promise". Thus, if the Annunciation to the Theotokos is the beginning of the Incarnation of the Logos/Word and the Divine Economy, Pentecost is the end, since it is then that man, through the Holy Spirit, becomes a member of the Risen Body of Christ.
We can also place Pentecost, as well as what relates to the Holy Spirit and Christ, in this framework because Christology cannot be understood apart from Pneumatology, nor Pneumatology apart from Christology.
The descent of the Holy Spirit took place on Sunday. And here we see the value of Sunday, for the Great Feasts of the Lord, took place on it. According to Saint Nicodemus the Hagiorite, the creation of the world began on the first day, that is to say on Sunday, for it was then that light was created; the renewal of creation began on Sunday with the Resurrection of Christ; the completion of creation took place on Sunday with the descent of the Holy Spirit. The making of creation was done by the Father with the cooperation of the Son and the Holy Spirit, the renewal of the Son with the good will of the Father and the cooperation of the Holy Spirit, and the completion of creation was done by the Holy Spirit, which proceeds from the Father and is sent by the Son.
The Christian Pentecost in which we celebrate the Descent of the Holy Spirit coincides with the Jewish Pentecost. It was on the day when the Jews were celebrating Pentecost that the Holy Spirit Descended upon the Holy Apostles and made them members of the Risen Body of Christ.
Pentecost is the second most important feast of the Jews after the Passover, and they were celebrating Moses' receiving God's Law on Mt. Sinai according to the tradition. Forty (40) days after the first feast of the Passover, Moses had gone up on Mt. Sinai and received God's Law. But in parallel with that, the Jewish Pentecost was an expression of their thankfulness for the harvest of fruits. Since it coincides with the period of the harvest, they called it a "harvest festival" and they offered the first-fruits in the Temple. The feast of Pentecost, which was celebrated with great splendor by the Jews, was called the Feast of Weeks. (Source: The Feasts of the Lord)
(To be continued)
"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!" - Saint John Chrysostomos
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servants of God