John 14:15-17 ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, because He abides with you, and He will be in you.'
Pentecost is a Christian festival celebrated the 49th day (the seventh Sunday) after Easter Sunday. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks. Acts 2:1-31.
The Apostles and others were gathered together in a house in fear of the authorities. Suddenly there's a mighty sound and flames of fire on their heads. The Holy Spirit, the third person in the Trinity, descended on them and became one with their very souls.
Their soul and the Holy Spirit were one. And this union of the human and the Divine manifested itself in many ways. For a start they all had the courage to speak up. They were no longer afraid. These very people who days before had ran away when Jesus was arrested, suddenly gained new courage given them by the Holy Spirit.
They knew the truth about Jesus and His Resurrection and they were no longer afraid to keep the secret to themselves. They had the courage to stand up and shout their truth to all willing to hear. They were not afraid of the consequences.
And what's more, by receiving the Holy Spirit the followers of Jesus gained a new ability as well as courage. They were all able to speak in different languages that up to then they knew nothing about. There were many people in Jerusalem at the time and they heard the followers of Jesus speak to them in their own language and proclaiming the truth about Christ and His Resurrection.
To the early Christians, the Holy Spirit was real indeed. They had experienced the power of the Holy Spirit. They received Him at Pentecost in tongues of fire and they were able to speak to the crowds that gathered in different languages. This was not something they had read about in the scriptures and the writings of the prophets. This was real indeed. They experienced it personally and had the courage to tell everyone about it. Just like you would do, if some supernatural experience happened to you.
Because the disciples had experienced the Holy Spirit, He became such a force in their lives, giving them strength to spread the Good News that Jesus had taught them, enabling them to live as Jesus had lived.
It was they who handed on to us this mystery that in one God there are three Persons. Because they had experienced it in their lives. They had met Jesus and came to accept Him as the Son of God, and now they had also experienced the power of the Holy Spirit.
With the passage of time, the story of Pentecost, or more precisely, the significance and understanding of receiving the Holy Spirit, has been diluted over the years.
The reality is that we can all receive the Holy Spirit into our souls today. All we have to do is to believe it is possible; and to sincerely ask God to send us the Holy Spirit.