The key messages of Pentecost were reflected in the Readings:
(1st: Acts 2:1-11, 2nd: 1 Cor 12:3-7, 12-13, Gospel: Jn 20:19-23)
Pentecost is our Father pouring out the Holy Spirit on all mankind. On Pentecost Sunday, the breath of God in the form of tongues of fire descends upon the Apostles and disciples gathered together; “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 upon each one of them.” (Acts 2:2-3) This powerful and visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit made a deep impact upon them. The next thing that happened was that Peter allowed the Holy Spirit to move him. We cooperate with the Holy Spirit to see the wonders unfolding before our very eyes. In some instances, like Acts 8:39, where Philip totally allowed the Holy Spirit to use him, he was directed by the Holy Spirit and driven by the Holy Spirit.
“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the spirit enabled them to proclaim.” (Acts 2:4) The gifts are given for the glory of God and the building of the Kingdom of God. When this focus is lost, we tend to be envious of the gifts of others without focusing on what the Lord wants of us. Sometimes the urge to want the visible gifts are tempting enough to block out the workings of the gifts that are not visible or audible.
The power of the Holy Spirit is given so that we may complete the command of Jesus to go to the ends of the earth to proclaim the Good News. Like the disciples, we too need to move out of locked doors to boldly proclaim Jesus. The doors that have kept us locked up were broken by the resurrection of the Lord. We have been given the graces to come out of our prisons of doubt, low self-esteem and inadequacies to stand with the Holy Spirit to proclaim Jesus as truly Lord of all.
Peter came out of his prison of shame by standing up to answer the doubters who thought the disciples were drunk. He did not hesitate to speak directly at them. He did not dwell in his past as he lead the disciples who were afraid as well. Peter did not count his denial as making him unworthy of the forgiveness of Jesus. Instead deeply rooted in the forgiveness and love of Jesus, Peter did not make the mistake of hiding again. His conversion was shown by his willingness to follow the Holy Spirit to do great and wonderful things for the Lord.
Here is an example that we can emulate because the graces and love of the Lord are given to all. We restrict the Lord by our own standards of what can and what cannot be accepted.