Pentecost - the outpouring of the Holy Spirit - is the birthday of the Church. It was on that day that Christians, as a community, were empowered by the Resurrected Life of Jesus. Today, we celebrate our wonderful ability to understand Christ. The ‘spiritual man’, of whom Saint Paul speaks, the living, believing Christian born of the Holy Spirit can understand Jesus. Pentecost is indeed a threshold. By entering its door, the Christian is permitted to share in Christ’s superior life. Pentecost is the feast of heart and intellect united. As Spirit filled (Spirit-marked) persons, we are called to ‘reconsider all things in Christ; that we penetrate more and more deeply into his point of view; that our life is remodelled after his.’ (Guardini)
We can sum up this change with a simple image. In religious art, the face is in focus. The sacred ard of icon-writing in particular observed the human face. The face of the ‘saints’ - who through the Spirit share and understand Christ’s life - is the face of Pentecost. The human face, transfigured by faith is our ‘spiritual face’. It is full of life, with lasting life. This face of ours is never aging, it cannot lose its special beuty, Jesus Christ. This is our lasting face. As it were, Pentecost is our lasting face, always alive. It is opposed to the mere physhical or biological face. It reflects the harshness of life, anxiety, or, the life-style of a person. Living under stress, drinking, drogs, the ‘empty temptations and shows’ of this world, our biological aging itself, all leave a mark on our biological face. With time, our biological face can lose its beauty, vitality, and health. But not for the person of Pentecost.
But in order to have our Pentecost-face, we must work on it. This work is called discipleship. This when we consciously develop the bond of faith with Jesus. When in a conscious way, we ‘watch his face, feel the beauty of his gestures’, when we ‘vibrate with the intensitiy that flows from Jesus, and participate in his whole destiny.’ When we do this through faith.
Pentecost is this very moment, when we can say: we believe. I believe. This is what the disciples still lacked before Pentecost. Who understands music? He who has music in him. It is the same, only more so, with Christ. Only he can understand Christ who lives in that which comes from Christ.’ (Guardini)
That is why Pentecost is about our new ability to welcome Christ as the most important person in our life. For on the day of Pentecost, ‘the Holy Spirit made room in our hearts for the transfigured Lord.’ It is precisely owing to this transformation that after Pentecost something new had happened. In the Holy Spirit, the Apostles, and the whole church will speak of ‘Christ in us’. We can sum up the message of ‘Christ in us’ of which we as a church speak and witness to: ‘that God pardons the sinner and accepts the creation into his holy presence - that is the new and overwhelming message of Christ.’
And Pentecost is about this acceptance. That’s why now we can understand why Christ ascended to Heaven. ‘So Jesus left - only in the same instant to return in new form. He entered eternity, into an existence that is entirely love, for “God is love” (1 John 4:16) Ever since, Christ’s manner of being has been that of love.’ Pentecost means: ‘Christ is in us!’ The core of our Christian witness is this: ‘Christ’s love is in us!’ Indeed, ‘God pardons the sinner and accepts the creation into his holy presence - that is the overwhelming message of Pentecost.’
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..