Reflection: After Pentecost, Peter and the Apostles witness the gospel of Jesus courageously. Do you identify with them? Have you experienced the power of the Holy Spirit in your life? How do you share the Good News of Jesus with others?
Prayer: When the Holy Spirit enters your life, accept His guidance by setting your mind at rest. Do not let cowardice get in the way of carrying out the mission. Thank Jesus for making you His disciple.
Action: Write down what God has done for you in your lives, and share your feelings and experiences with your family and friends.
The Coming of the Spirit.
1 When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. 2 And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.b 3 Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.
5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. 6 At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how does each of us hear them in his own native language? 9 We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, 11both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.” 12 They were all astounded and bewildered, and said to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others said, scoffing, “They have had too much new wine.”
Peter's Speech at Pentecost.
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them, “You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you, and listen to my words. 15These people are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. 16No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 17 ‘It will come to pass in the last days,' God says, ‘that I will pour out a portion of my spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. 18 Indeed, upon my servants and my handmaids I will pour out a portion of my spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will work wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below: blood, fire, and a cloud of smoke. 20 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great and splendid day of the Lord, 21 and it shall be that everyone shall be saved who calls on the name of the Lord.'
22 You who are Israelites, hear these words. Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs, which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know. 23 This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God, you killed, using lawless men to crucify him. 24 But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for him to be held by it.l 25 For David says of him: ‘I saw the Lord ever before me, with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. 26 Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted; my flesh, too, will dwell in hope, 27 because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld, nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.'
29 My brothers, one can confidently say to you about the patriarch David that he died and was buried, and his tomb is in our midst to this day. 30But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld nor did his flesh see corruption.p 32 God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses. 33 Exalted at the right hand of God, he received the promise of the holy Spirit from the Father and poured it forth, as you (both) see and hear. 34 For David did not go up into heaven, but he himself said: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right handr 35 until I make your enemies your footstool.”'
36 Therefore let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other apostles, “What are we to do, my brothers?”t 38 Peter [said] to them, “Repent and be baptized,* every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit.u 39For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.” 40 He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation. 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day.
42 They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers.z 43 Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and had all things in common;b 45 they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need. 46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
- Luke's Church, with Mary and the Apostles at her centre , receives the Holy Spirit in unity and prayer; Luke's Church is past down from the Apostles, holy (in prayer and Spirit), one (unity), catholic (Apostles spoke in multiple languages); the beginning of the story of Luke's Church begins in Jerusalem and ends in Rome (Acts 28:28).
- “The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart” > The Holy Spirit engraves the Law onto the human heart. This brings forth the seven gifts and fruits of the Spirit so that we may live freely and happily in the “law of the Spirit of life”.
- The proclamation of the Old and the New Testament has similar preludes, but are different in spirit, and meaning: stone tablets human heart; slavery (bondage) freedom; death life; establishment of God's chosen people, the Israelites establishment of Jesus' Church as the New Israel.
- The disturbance and grace brought about by the coming of the Holy Spirit in the NT: look at the Church after Vatican II (The New Pentecost)
Peter's First Public Teaching
- The leadership of Peter > Does he possess the same authority as the Church's first Pope?
- Acts has recorded 6 preaching (GK: KERYGMA), 5 of which comes from Peter and on from Paul (2:14-36, 3:12-26, 4:8-12, 5:29-32, 10:34-43, 13:16-41).
- Peter quoted Joel 2:28-32 to point out that Jesus' righteousness, miracles, and signs are proofs that the time prophesized by Joel has come; the Messianic time has come. The coming of the Holy Spirit during the Pentecost has fulfilled Joel's prophecy of the Spirit filling human heart.
- Note how Peter interprets the OT from the perspective of “the New is hidden in the Old and the Old is revealed in the New”
- Reaction of the crowd – “they were cut to the heart”. Peter listed 3 things that the people must do to return to God: repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- “baptized in the name of Jesus” or in the name of the Holy Trinity?
- Should children and infants be baptized?
- all who are far away” > our responsibilities of evangelization
The New Church
- From Luke's description of the early Church, one can see that the Church has sufficient space to embrace the differences in people, communities, and culture; however, all members must be united in the following 4 matters: following the teachings of the Pope (Tradition); living in unity within the faith community (“Koinonia” includes charity); the Eucharist; and prayer life.
- Did the early Church practice “Communism”?
- “they spent much time together in the Temple”: How did the Temple of the Jews turn into the Temple of the NT – the Church?
- The healing of the one born blind has confirmed the Messianic time has come.
1. Read the following ICSB footnote on the Pentecost:
One of three pilgrim feasts that required the adult men of Israel to travel to Jerusalem (Deut 16:16). It was a harvest festival celebrated 50 days after Passover, when the first loaves of bread from the spring wheat crop were dedicated as a first fruits offering to the Lord (Lev 23:15-17). Over time, theological significance was added to its agricultural focus: Pentecost became a celebration of the Torah given to Israel on Mt. Sinai, with lectionary readings taken from Ex 19-20. For Christians, Pentecost celebrates the new law of the Spirit (Rom 8:2), written on the hearts of believers (Jer 31:31, 2 Cor 3:4-6), which surpasses the Law of Moses, inscribed on stone tablets (Ex 31:18).
2. What was the meaning of the feast of Pentecost for Jews? What does it mean for Christians?
3. In Acts 2:16-32, what does the prophet Joel say will happen in the Messianic age?How does Peter link the “wonders and signs” in Joel's prophecy with the person of Jesus?
4. In Acts 2:40, St. Peter asked his listeners to “save yourselves from this corrupt generation”. What about our own generation? Is it also a corrupt generation? In what ways? What have you done to “save yourselves from this corrupt generation”?
Acts of the Apostles
The Coming of the Spirit / Peter's Speech at Pentecost / Communal Life
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