2 min read
13 May

This week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the Simple Form of the Mass of the Vigil of Pentecost.

Almighty ever-living God, who willed the Paschal Mystery to be encompassed as a sign in fifty days, grant that from out of the scattered nations the confusion of many tongues may be gathered by heavenly grace into one great confession of your name. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever

I always thought that Pentecost just happened to occur 50 days after Easter and that’s why we call it Pentecost. However, as I studied this prayer, I found out that celebrating Pentecost on this day was a part of God’s plan from the beginning.

The prayer tells us that it was God’s will that this mystery would be held on the fiftieth day. As I researched what 50 days means in the Bible, I found out that one of the first mentions of Pentecost is actually in Leviticus 23:15. It is a Jewish holy day established by God to be held “Beginning with the day after the sabbath, the day on which you bring the sheaf for elevation, you shall count seven full weeks; you shall count to the day after the seventh week, fifty days.” (NABRE) The formula for this Jewish feast is 7 weeks of 7 days plus one day, or fifty days. This holy day is called Shavu’ot.

Fifty days can also be divided into 40 + 10. In Scripture, we find that it took 40 days for the waters to go down after the flood. For 40 years the Israelites wandered in the desert and after His baptism, Jesus was tempted for 40 days. These are only a few examples of 40 in scripture, however, does 40 days really mean 40 days? Actually, perhaps not. Forty can be thought of as the time of completion, a time of consecration. The number ten signifies the perfection of divine order. Forty days of consecration plus ten days for perfection of divine order equals fifty. These fifty days are a pretty good definition of the season of Easter.

In Acts 2:1, we read that the Apostles and disciples were in Jerusalem for Shavu’ot, which, even in the Old Testament, was also known as Pentecost. This festival also celebrates the day that God gave the Jewish people the Torah. I began to wonder, is it possible that the Apostles maybe had a clue that this would be the day?

I also noticed a similarity between God on the mountain and God in the Upper Room. Exodus 19:18 uses the best way to describe it, “Now Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke, because the LORD had come down upon it in fire.” The glory of God because present to the Apostles just like it did for Moses, in fire.

Imagine the excitement in the Upper Room that day. On the holy day of Shauv’ot, the fiftieth day, a day when the Jewish people brought an offering to God, God showed up and He made his presence known to them just like He did to Moses - in fire.

God showed up and He still shows up every time we celebrate the Sacraments. He will show up when we celebrate Pentecost, however, there are a couple things we need to keep in mind.

When the Jewish people celebrated Shavu’ot, they brought an offering. What offering will you bring? Is it sincere? Do you trust God enough to make that offering yourself?

Also, just because we may not see fire like Moses or the Apostles, it does not mean that God does not show up. Manifestation is not required impartation. Faith is.

With these two things, a sincere offering and faith, we have all it takes for the completion of our request in this prayer, that from out of the scattered nations the confusion of many tongues may be gathered by heavenly grace into one great confession of your name.

God is still fulfilling His word that He will put His spirit within us (Ez 37:27), that He will pour out His spirit upon our offspring, and His blessing upon our descendants (Is 44:3), and that it shall come to pass that He will pour out His spirit upon all flesh. (Joel 3:1)

It happened then and it is happening today. God is on the move and He wants you to be a part of it. All it takes is your yes.

Thanks for praying with me,

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