Dear and Respected Brethren,
We read in the first chapter of the Acts of Apostles about the Ascension of our Lord Jesus on the 40th day after the blessed Resurrection. Before Ascension, our Lord exhorted His beloved followers and the Apostles to wait for His Father�s promise. Our Lord also informed them that they would be strengthened to witness risen Christ not only in all Judea and Jerusalem, but also in every nook and corner of the world (Acts 1:8) So they waited with prayer and one accord. There were 120 persons altogether including the Apostles, who remained in one prayer and one accord to inherit Holy Spirit. As mentioned in Acts 2: 1-12, they all received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost in the form of tongues of fire. As a token of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, they all talked in other languages. They all received the Holy Spirit�s power in abundance.
In all our Sacraments, there is a solemn occasion when and where the Holy Spirit will descend from High above and will brood upon the submitted mysteries. The Holy Church teaches that whenever the Holy Spirit would descend during any one of the Sacraments (Sacraments are the visible symbols of the invisible graces of God Almighty) the participants/ congregation also would be blessed with the renewal of the Holy Spirit. We all have received the Holy Spirit initially during our Baptism as well as anointment of Holy Chrism. As we all are living in the world, the Holy Spirit in us might not grow into the perfection and hence we have to renew the Holy Spirit every now and often. The Holy Church advises us to follow a strict sacramental life so that we could retain the fullness of the Holy Spirit in us. We could achieve this through our sacramental lives, but we must strictly follow a system of having one prayer and one accord. So also we must long for the arrival of the Holy Spirit during the Sacrament in which we are attending. And we must expect for the arrival of the Holy Spirit. In the Holy Sacrament of Eucharist, the Altar Assistant cautions us the time of the arrival of the Holy Spirit. But often we could not keep one prayer and one accord. Whenever we attend a Sacrament, let it be a baptism or a matrimony or priesthood, or a Holy Eucharist, if we could keep up one accord and one prayer to bless us with the fullness of Holy Spirit, we all would be blessed with the fullness of Holy Spirit. The Holy Church separates ten days prior to Pentecost, for the expectation of the Holy Spirit. Unless and until we keep one prayer and one accord, we would not be able to come up with power from the kneeling position, as exhorted by the celebrant then and there. Let us try to attend this years Pentecost service with one prayer and one accord.
May God bless us all and renew the Holy Spirit in each and every one of us.
Jose Kurian Puliyeril