The Mystery of the Coming of the Holy Spirit

Today we look at the third Glorious Mystery of the Rosary.

At Pentecost, the Old Testament spring harvest festival, the Church is overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit coming in wind and fire and the harvest of the saints begins. The disciples (including Mary, who was right there in the thick of it) receive the power of the Holy Spirit, and St. Peter, preaching his first sermon to the astonished crowd in Jerusalem, declares of Jesus, “Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which you see and hear” (Acts 2:33).

It’s worth noting that the “right hand” is the “good” hand in antiquity. It’s the hand that pours out blessing, the hand that holds the scepter, the hand that works, acts, fights. The hand is the locus of action. We do not theorize with our hands, we do things. Jesus, seated at the right hand of the Father, does things. And he empowers us to do things, too—by his Spirit. So when Peter appeals to the crowd at Pentecost he doesn’t tell them God has poured out a concept or an idea; he says that God has poured out “that which you see and hear.” The Catholic faith is still the same today. To be sure, we walk by faith and not by sight. But the fruit of our faith is still visible in the incarnate signs and acts of love we bear to the world. All these are poured out on us from Jesus, at the right hand of God.


One Response

  1. Thank you for the reminder that Mary was with the disciples at Pentecost. That fact stands in contrast to those of our Protestant friends who think that Mary fades to nothing once she’s delivered Jesus.

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