What does Pentecost mean for a Christian today? That day, 2000 years ago, when the Apostles were locked in the upper room afraid of the future, and uncertain of their destiny, what does it have to do with us today? How do those tongues of fire become more than just an interesting story . . . is the event of the descent of the Holy Spirit just a memory?
If it is just a memory, then it is irrelevant. But thankfully, that day when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles is lived out today. The fact of the Church is the direct result of the event of Pentecost. The Church then becomes the way we understand Pentecost today. The Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and it did two things: It made them want to stay with each other, to be close in their friendship and it made them want to tell everyone about this friendship.
Communion (being together) and Evangelization (announcing this friendship) is the basic identity of the Church. Christ is present through her today, and it is through this Communion that the presence of Christ is made present today. This friendship, born from the encounter with Christ, is lived in the World and the Presence is announced both through our friendship and through our proclamation.
And that is what is amazing about Pentecost and the descent of the Holy Spirit. This man, who was an enigma to them, who is an enigma to us, is made "ours" through the Holy Spirit. The same is true for us today. The Holy Spirit gives a life that is lived in a revolutionary way. We could not, of our own will and power, live this Christian life. Sometimes we don't realize this. We aren't always aware that it's the Holy Spirit that gives us the grace to live with Christ. Yet, without the Holy Spirit we would truly be lost.
This is why the Challenge for us is to always live aware of the Holy Spirit's effect on our lives. We must desire this awareness, we must desire the Holy Spirit to be present to us at all times. We can do this, through the intercession of Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.
Veni Sancte Spiritus, Ven per Maria.