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While We Keep On Waiting

Sometimes I start reading stories from the Bible, and think to myself “This seems so unrealistic,” or “I have a hard time believing this actually happened.” Usually I’ll read a part in the Bible and just tell myself it’s true without really taking any time to understand the story, or to see how it could’ve felt to be there in person. 

One particular story that has always intrigued me is the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. We celebrate this great feast 50 days after Easter, concluding the Easter season, and entering once more into the longer period of Ordinary Time. 

I always try to picture how the little tongues of fire on top of the disciples’ heads must’ve looked, and my imagination usually stops after simply thinking of a tongue on fire that probably just ate too many ghost peppers. Probably not the most accurate depiction of the descent. 

Although trying to figure out what the little flames of fire looked like, I am always way more interested in knowing how it made the apostles feel. Let’s roll back a bit. We all know how the story goes: Jesus suffers a terrible death for our sake, then resurrects on the third day, and then appears to a bunch of people, spends time with His apostles, then ascends into Heaven. 

I can’t imagine what Peter and the others must’ve been thinking after that whole period of time was over. Jesus comes back to life, everyone is thrilled, and then He leaves again. To me, it sounds almost more difficult to lose Jesus a second time. 

So how did the Apostles continue on with their ministry? 

What about that period of waiting? The time between Jesus ascending into Heaven and Pentecost? What did the apostles have? 

They had hope. 

The Holy Spirit came down upon them and gave them this sort of huge boost of energy, zeal, and power to proclaim the good news to all. The disciples had no idea what they were waiting for, but they waited, and God sent them the Holy Spirit. 

Hope is the trusting that something good will come, even if we do not know when or how. Hope can be something very difficult to understand, especially in those periods of waiting or confusion. But the apostles waited with hope and were not disappointed. So when I go back to my initial question and ask myself what the apostles must’ve been thinking when the Holy-Spirit descended upon them, I think they must’ve felt a deep sense of joy, clarity, and had a deeper hope than ever before. They must have known that God had never left them, but was with them now as much as before, and even more so, in a way.

As we go back to our regular routine and habits now that the Lenten season is over and the celebration of Easter dwindles down, let us have hope for the future, for the uncertainty of things that lie ahead, with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.


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