Father Rodney Torbic

May 14 / 27, 2018

The Feast of Pentecost

John 7:37-52, 8:12

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified. Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? So there was a division among the people because of him. And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him. Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. Nicodemus saith unto them, he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them, Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (KJV)

Today is the great feast of Pentecost. The descent of the Holy Spirit is being celebrated. The Gospel speaks about rivers of living water flowing from bellies of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today is a day for serious believers to rejoice. The Feast of Feasts, Pascha, remains at the forefront of thought. The Lord Jesus Christ defeated death and rose from the tomb.

The Lord Jesus Christís Ascension is firmly in mind having been celebrated in recent days. Today is a moment of completion in the post Paschal experience. Joy is identified with the celebration of the Descent of the Holy Spirit.

Serious believers turn to Christ in deep thought. The relationship with Christ deserves constant consideration. Christís nourishment is ever-present. Believers always do well in turning to Christ to drink from the fountain of life.

Christ is the satisfier of the soul. Christ nourishes the hungry. Christ leads believers to peace and eternal life. Christ directs the lost and darkened of mind. Christ is the constant hope for the discouraged and the depressed.

Christ is the sign of victory when victory seems impossible. This is the day to look deep within the heart. This is the day to remember Holy Baptism and Chrismation.

The Christian journey continues from Baptism to departure from this life. Renewal occurs and is always expected in the relationship with Christ. Renewal occurs with the work of the Holy Spirit in each life.

Christians engaged in serious prayer take constructive action in the journey to eternal life in Godís Kingdom. Serious prayer is not a last resort to be taken. Serious prayer has a place throughout life. Serious prayer makes a difference.

In the present Gospel Jesus said: ďI am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of lifeĒ (Jn. 8:12) In the darkness of the present world, Jesus is the light to follow.

Everyday news accounts speak of violence and decadence. Daily headlines describe scandals at all levels. Christ provides the counter-balance to futility and hopelessness.

Christ offers eternal life. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is ďÖlove, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Gal. 5:22-23)

We may live in a world where violence, decadence and immorality are pronounced. We do not need to be violent, decadent or depressed. Christ offers hope and light. The Holy Spirit offers the most desirable fruit.

Let us thank God for this Holy Church where we can receive lasting nourishment for the soul. Let us thank God for this Holy Church where we can draw s trength and direction to live with the challenges of todayís world.

The Lord God did not abandon the faithful through the ages. The saints and martyrs through the centuries were guided by the light of Christ in the darkest hours.

Christ provides necessary nourishment when the soul is hungry and desperation occurs. The Holy Gospel fills each heart and mind open to Christ. The Holy Gospel puts at ease the mind and heart filled with Christ.

Christís words in todayís Gospel have held their power in each succeeding century to the present. Christís words carry power that transcends obstacles arising from opponents.

Joy exists in Christ. The celebration of Pentecost is a manifestation of that joy. Churches around the world and through the centuries are manifestations of the descent of the Holy Spirit.

Today believers everywhere join in celebration with believers in past centuries. Today is a day to be grateful to God with a full heart. Today is a day to be grateful for faithful through the centuries.

We are blessed to be able to celebrate the Divine Liturgy. We are blessed to have the Gospel proclaimed and to be able to partake of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ.

Let us cherish every opportunity to experience Christ. Let us fully utilize opportunities to learn about Christ. Let us be vigorous in prayer to the Holy Spirit. With greatest appreciation let us show our love for the Lord Jesus Christ.

May 14 / 27, 2018
The Feast of Pentecost.

Fr. Rodney Torbic
Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania

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