The words of Peter, yet the voice of God- Monday, in the Octave of Easter- Acts 2:14, 22-33
The book of Acts primarily focuses on the growth of the Church and that is why on the first day after Easter, the lectionary takes us to Chapter two which is Pentecost Sunday. The central importance of Pentecost is the Spirit’s transformation of the Church into a community of prophets (2:18).
The context of today’s text is simple. Peter is addressing the Jews of the Diaspora who have now settled in Jerusalem. These were men, who at one time made a foreign land their home, and now having returned to Jerusalem, have carried the language of their adopted homes to Jerusalem. It is they who hear the first public proclamation that is made in Acts by Peter.
We will hear the narration that unfolds on Pentecost (Greek word of fiftieth) on its feast (fifty days from now). But for now, we will focus on a part of what Peter said on Pentecost Sunday, which is in turn a part of the Easter message for Easter and Pentecost, forming one composite unit of the Easter celebrations!
For the Jews, Pentecost was an annual agrarian pilgrimage that they celebrated fifty days after the feast of unleavened bread or Passover. One can now understand better why the apostles have gathered in Jerusalem – they, like the rest, are Pilgrims, although a bit lost without their Master. But it is in this room that the Holy Spirit descends in a rush of wind and flaming tongues of fire.
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