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Archbishop Nicolae’s Meditation at the feast of the Descent of the Holy Spirit 2009


 

Fifty days after Holy Pascha we celebrate the sending of the Holy Spirit into the world. This is the Spirit promised by the Savior to the disciples, the Spirit as another Comforter who will dwell among us and fulfill Christ’s work of salvation. The Spirit of God floated above the waters at the time of Creation caring for and setting in order the creation coming from the hand of God. Now the Spirit is resent by Christ who is Ascended to the heavens. This means that mankind and all of creation had lost the Spirit. But since they have received the Spirit anew, mankind and creation must show themselves as bearers of the Spirit.

 

The holy apostle Paul speaks to us of these matters in his Epistle to the Galatians: “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Gal 5:25).  And again the apostle to the gentiles speaks to us of the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Gal 5:22-23). The list of the fruit of the Spirit begins with the love that identifies us as Christians: “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35). But St. Paul’s verse does not continue, as we might have expected, with the faith, but with the joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, and only then faith. This sequence is perhaps because, in speaking of the Spirit who descends upon Christians, St. Paul is primarily concerned with proving this descent by obvious virtues which reveal the state of the Christian upon whom the Spirit has descended. Whoever has received the Spirit has joy, peace, kindness and all the other virtues enumerated by St. Paul. And these virtues are perceivable by others, by those who have not received the Spirit, by those who still question what it means to be Christian. The apostle Paul himself presents the fruits of the descent of the Spirit in contradiction with the “lust of the flesh”. He lists “the works of the flesh” (Gal 5:19-21), affirming that those who commit them will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

 

At the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, they began to speak in tongues, and those listening to them understood them each in his own language. The speaking in tongues and the comprehension of this speaking were the signs of the miracle of the descent of the Spirit. The signs of the descent of the Spirit upon us, the Christians of today, are those enumerated by St. Paul. We who have the Spirit also have love and we can offer joy, peace, kindness, and goodness all around us. Those who fulfill this work show themselves as vessels of the Spirit and confessors of the event of the Pentecost of 2000 years ago. For the Spirit has begun His work in the Church then, and continues to work out our salvation in the Church, for this is precisely the passage from the bondage of flesh and its works to the freedom of the Spirit and its fruits.

 

There is no advice more appropriate at the great feast of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, but to beseech the Spirit and to let him work this transformation in each of us. And then each of us, and together with us the entire world, will have the joy, peace, and kindness for which we long.

 

† NICOLAE

 

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Credinţa - The Faith Magazine
April - June, 2014

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Credinţa Almanach 2014


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Archbishop Nicolae's
Pastoral Itinerary


April 30, 2017 - Divine Liturgy Ss. Constantine and Helen Cathedral, Chicago, IL - Enthronement Ceremony

April 29, 2017 - Special Archdiocesan Congress, Ss. Constantine and Helen Cathedral, Chicago, IL

April 23, 2017 - St. Thomas Sunday/St. George – Divine Liturgy Ss. Constantine and Helen Cathedral, Chicago, IL

April 21, 2017 - Life Giving Fountain - Divine Liturgy at Ss. Constantine and Helen Cathedral, Chicago, IL

April 18, 2017 - Holy Pascha - Divine Liturgy at Ss. Constantine and Helen Cathedral, Chicago, IL

Bishop Ioan Casian's Pastoral Itinerary


May 7, 2017 - Divine Liturgy at St. George parish, St. Hubert, QC

April 30, 2017 - Divine Liturgy at Ss. Constantine and Helen Cathedral, Chicago, IL

April 23, 2017 - St. George - Divine Liturgy at St. George parish, St. Hubert, QC

April 21, 2017 - Life Giving Fountain - Divine Liturgy at St. Dimitrios the New Mission, Montreal, QC

April 18, 2017 - Holy Pascha - Divine Liturgy at St. Mary’s parish, Timmins, ON