Acts 19.1-8; Psalm 67; John 16.29-33
The Orthodox (Eastern) Churches refer to the entire fifty days we call “Easter”as the season of Pentecost. Everything about this time is leading towards the great celebration of the giving of the Holy Spirit to the Church on the Feast of the Fiftieth Day, or Pentecost.
For us, though, the final ten days of the season, after Ascension Day, are particularly devoted to prayer for the Holy Spirit. This period of prayer from the day after Ascension Day through Pentecost Sunday (described in Acts 1.12-14) is the origin of the novena, nine days of intense prayer for a particular object. Even if you haven’t already started, today isn’t too late to devote ourselves to prayers like Veni, Creator Spiritus for the final week of our Easter celebration.
“I am not alone” Jesus declared to his disciples as they made the long walk from the upper room to Gethsemane where he would prepare himself for his coming sacrificial work. “My Father is always with me.” In our times of testing and trial, may we know that presence, manifested as the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts to strengthen us [Romans 8.11] and give us the words we need [Luke 12.11-12] to declare the reason for the Hope that is in us.
[I Peter 3.15]