What does the word Pentecost bring to mind?
I know a few years ago when I was pondering the New Pentecost needed in our Church I was very focused on the externals. I think expressing our love for God and praising him with full heart and voice is very important, but I’ve come to realize that there is something more basic going on.
Let’s look at the first Pentecost. Tongues of fire, tongues afire with new languages, praising the Lord with reckless abandon. This is what a new Pentecost looks like, right?
I thought so too, until I began learning more about what happened in Mexico when Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared. Before she appeared, missionaries were having a really, really hard time converting people, not to mention their methods probably weren’t the most ethical. In the seven years following the apparitions, eight million Aztecs became Christian. That’s what a new Pentecost looks like!
So the really important part of the first Pentecost is this:
“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day.” (Acts 2:41)
Three Thousand people!
Being filled with the Holy Spirit makes us attract others to Christ – this is why we need a New Pentecost! In turn, those external gifts are signs that we are filled with the Spirit – they are the fruit of our own conversion.