Let the Holy Spirit Move You This Pentecost

As we approach the feast of Pentecost, I want to share with you one of the most enlightening moments my wife and I had on a pilgrimage we made to the Holy Land a few years ago. It was not a planned destination, but it led to a holy moment when we heard His small yet powerful whisper.

One evening, our guide Mike invited anyone who wanted to join him in praying the Rosary to come to an upper room at our hotel in Jerusalem. The upper room was appropriately named Pentecost Hall. At the designated time, my wife and I walked into the large room, and in the next several minutes it became apparent why the Holy Spirit had invited me to that place at that moment.

The room completely captivated me: a most engaging mural of Pentecost covered three of the four walls. The expressions on the faces of the apostles as the tongues of fire descended upon them showed a spectrum of emotions. Amazement, fear, joy, peace, curiosity, excitement, doubt, and hope. I was awestruck! But there was so much more to experience in the masterpiece.

Mike explained how the first Pentecost took place during the annual Jewish Festival of Weeks, also known as Shavuot. He then shared with us that Shavuot was a commemoration of when God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mt. Sinai and that, as part of the Shavuot ceremony, the Ten Commandments were read aloud.

At one end of the room, the mural shows the apostle Peter reading the Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses. It is while he is reading them that the Holy Spirit descends as tongues of fire on those present.

As I stood there trying to etch the artwork into my memory, Mike explained that the apostles and Mary were not alone in the upper room. Rather, because it was the annual Jewish festival of Shavuot, those present included the family members and friends of Jesus, Mary, the apostles, and the disciples. Furthermore, the tongues of fire did not just descend on Mary and the apostles. The Holy Spirit descended upon the others too, empowering them to carry on the mission of the Church by telling others of the truth and love of Jesus.

As I observed the amazement of these men, women, and children of all ages, I recalled how, through my Baptism and Confirmation, the Holy Spirit had been given to me too. It seemed as though time stood still so that I could comprehend the interconnection of the Ten Commandments, the Holy Spirit, Pentecost, the inauguration of the Catholic Church, and the Great Commission of Jesus with His instructions:

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.

Matthew 28:19-20

The Holy Spirit didn’t just empower the apostles. Through our Baptism and Confirmation, we are all empowered and commissioned by the Holy Spirit. He sends each one of us, with our unique gifts, to go to our families, neighbors, and coworkers, to participate with Him in “teaching all that [Jesus] commanded [us].”

This Pentecost Sunday linger for a few moments in the church and envision yourself in the mural of Pentecost Hall. Put yourself right there with everyone in the upper room. Read the passage in Exodus 20 where God reveals the Ten Commandments to Moses. Then, listen for the small yet powerful whisper of the Holy Spirit. Be still and let the Holy Spirit reveal to you how He has empowered you to participate with Him in His witness to the world.

If it has been a while since you last took a close look at what Jesus commanded, or if you are looking for some ways to teach the Commandments to others, consider the following suggestions:

Photo Credit: Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center. (2023, December 19). Today we gathered to thank all of the staff of Notre Dame in Jerusalem for their service [photo]. Retrieved from Facebook.

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Ed Van Buskirk is Founder and President of If U Love Me, a catholic apostolate dedicated to help restore truth in this world of confusion by teaching the time-tested wisdom and truth of the Ten Commandments. He’s author of the “God’s Recipe for a Wonderful Life” book and video course, given an Imprimatur by James V. Johnston Jr. Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri. He recently founded the “God’s Recipe for School and Family” program for Catholic schools, to teach school children and their families how to learn and live the Ten Commandments. Ed speaks across the country and was recently a speaker at the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocesan Eucharistic Congress.

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