Pentecost – Byzantine Rite – 28 May 2023

Troparion Tone 8

Blessed are You O Christ Our God / You have revealed the fishermen as most wise / by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit / through them You drew the world into Your net / O Lover of Man, Glory to You!

Reading From the Book of Acts

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
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.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem.
At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,
but they were confused
because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded, and in amazement they asked,
“Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?
Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?
We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,
inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,
as well as travelers from Rome,
both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,
yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty acts of God.”

~Chapter 2, Verses 1 to 11

Reading From the Book of 1st Corinthians

Brothers and sisters:
No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; 
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.

As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

~Chapter: 12, Verses 7 to 13

Gospel of John

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

~Chapter: 20, Verses: 19 to 23


In a room huddled together in fear of what to do next, we find the closest apostles and disciples of Christ.  They fear arrest and persecution from local authorities and are still in shock over the events of Christ’s death, resurrection,  and recent ascension.  The looming question is now what…..? The answer comes quickly.

Christ and the Holy Spirit appear to them and bring them first comfort and then charge them with taking the Holy Spirit that they just received out into the world and building what will become his church on earth.

The men and women who were gathered in this room were not chosen for the gifts of leadership or the ability to gather crowds but for their faithfulness.  It is because of each of them that any Christian today can be found.  Without their first attempts at the work, there would be no Christians today to hear God’s message. 

Whenever you feel unworthy of receiving or spreading God’s word remember these first apostles and their same fear. Let us be living beings who carry the Holy Spirit of Pentecost into today’s world.  May more generations ask the question now what and find the answer in all the work from the apostles and even our own today.


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