Commentary

Spirit-filled Evangelization

Originally Appeared in : 9710-5/11/17

On June 4, the Catholic Church will celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost, the fiftieth and last day of the Easter season. For Saint Luke, writing in his second work, the Acts of the Apostles, the first Pentecost celebrated by the Jewish people after Christ’s Resurrection was the occasion for a spectacular outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Lord’s disciples gathered behind closed doors in the Upper Room in Jerusalem “with some women and Mary the mother of Jesus and his brothers.” They “were all in one place together” when “suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong 

driving wind, and it filled the entire house.” Then “there appeared to them tongues as of fire which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” There is no record of what was said or discussed among those gathered in the Upper Room. But we do know that once inspired by the gift of the Holy Spirit, the disciples became bold proclaimers of the “Good News of Christ’s dying and Rising from the dead.” 

 

To a crowd made up of people from all over the East, the Apostles communicated what they had learned from Christ, even though the people were “confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language.” The “gift of tongues,” in the Acts of the Apostles, refers to this phenomenon: that the apostles’ witness to the Risen Christ was heard and understood even by those who did not speak or understand the Aramaic language. The people’s understanding of the apostolic witness, transcending the language barrier, was a gift of the Holy Spirit. 

 

Christ’s disciples communicated his words and deeds by preaching.  What they communicated verbally was later recorded in writing, in the form of the epistles and Gospels of the New Testament. The apostolic reporting of the Good News of the Resurrection shaped and still shapes the course of human history as it continues to be communicated in many forms to this day.

 

 The Catholic Communication Campaign collection (CCC) is held on Pentecost Sunday. The collection taken up for this campaign supports the ongoing communication of the Catholic Faith in the United States in general and in the Diocese of Savannah in particular. Globally, Catholic media outlets encompass Web sites, social media, YouTube, Twitter, snapchat, blogs, radio, television, magazines, and newspapers. These outlets are staffed and served by professional journalists and news-gathering organizations. 

 

Your support of the Catholic Communications Campaign enables expanded video reporting and production in the Diocese of Savannah while at the same time supporting the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s (USCCB) national communication initiatives.

 

The Catholic Communications Campaign supports the dissemination of news, catechesis, and reflections on the Faith in your homes and in the public sphere. Please give generously to the CCC this Pentecost!

 

Father Douglas K. Clark STL is pastor of Saint Matthew Church, Statesboro. 

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