by Fr. Dmitri, New Zealand
Saturday 22 May 2010 (14 Pachons;14 Bashans)
Live on in me, as I do in you.
And this is eternal life, that they may know You,
the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
For our heart shall rejoice in Him because we have
trusted in His Holy Name.
We should enjoy much peace if we did not concern ourselves
with what others say and do, for these are no concern of ours.
(Imitation of Christ)
They said to the woman,' Now we believe, not because of what you
have said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is
indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.'
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
and for His wonderful works to the Children of men!
See Christ Our Lord in all human beings.
In this way, you will be filled with respect and consideration
Lord Jesus, grant us the grace to see all human beings as potential
persons in whom You might dwell. And let us respect them because
of You, Our Lord and Redeemer.
(Theresa of Avila)
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come they were all with one accord in one place. ( Acts 2:1)
Once again the fire of God appeared, but this time to His trusted friends. Peter the man who had backslidden and even denied knowing the Messiah three times, now rose with courage and gave his first sermon. The marvel of Messiah's Spirit the Ruach HaKodesh in the Hebrew ('Holy Breath') had fallen. The same breath that gave life to Adam, transforming him from a lump of clay into a living man, now transformed the lives by the thousands.
An important fact about Shavuot is that it is one of three pilgrim feasts when all Israelite men were required by law to come to Jerusalem and bring their offerings to the temple. On this day, as Acts tells us, there would have been Hebrews from all over the known world gathered in the upper rooms of the temple, Parthians,Medes,Elamites, those from Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, Pamphilia, Egypt, Libya, Cyrene, visitors from Rome. both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs.
Peter spoke to the multitude, reminding them. "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off.". Hence the key to Peter's sermon. "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved," was proclaimed for the Jew and the Gentile.
While incidental to the message, not that Peter spoke of King David during his sermon Acts 2:25-36). Jewish tradition teaches us that David died on Shavuot, and this too, like the prophecy in Ezekiel who referred to a whirlwind, would have been in the forefront on the minds of the Hebrew men surrounding Peter. All of these events and memorials came together to touch the hearts of the unbelieving Jews, moving them to ask, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Peters answer then is as valid today: "Repent, and let everyone of you be Baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
Because Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks, is associated with the giving of the Law and the coming of the Spirit, it is interesting to compare the outcome of those two events. We read in Exodus 32:28 that 3000 men died at Sinai because of the sin of worshipping the golden calf. Contrast that loss of 3000 lives with the New Testament Shavuot when 3000 men came to new life in Jesus 50 days after the celebration of Passover (Pesach).
The believers of Pentecost were worthy of death. But because their faith rested on the Great High Priest Yeshua who had made atonement for their sins, they were now alive part of the firstfruit harvest, and the promise of Jeremiah 31:31. On this Pentecost all the Spring Feasts culminate in the New Covenant era.
At Firstfruits, Jesus, the slain lamb, became the Saviour, the firstfruit of our Resurrection; glorified and vindicated, conquering the power of sin and death forevermore. The first harvest of mankind, 3000 strong, issued in the new era of messianic revelation, a perpetual spring season that permits germination. Is it merely a coincidence that these New Testament events correspond so perfectly to the pictures and lessons presented to us in the feast days? And does God have pictures for us of the final harvest presented in the Fall Feasts: The Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles? There are no such things as coincidences, only 'God-incidences.' To Thee be glory and Praise, now and ever, unto Ages of Ages.
Evening: Psalm 107:2-3; Luke 8:40-56.
Morning: Psalm 33:5-6; John 17:1-13.
Liturgy: 1 Cor.13:1-14:4; 1 John 2:12-17; Acts 1:15-26;
Psalm 108:3-4; Gospel John 17:14-26.
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