MOSES, PENTECOST AND CONFIRMATION
When the Chosen People were soon to leave Mount Sinai, God told Moses to appoint seventy elders who would assist him in governing the people. All of those seventy received a portion of the prophetic spirit given to Moses. But his friend and assistant Joshua objected that two of them should not have received the spirit as the others had. Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put His spirit upon them.” Numbers 11:29. In later centuries, the prophets spoke of a day to come when God would answer this prayer. For example, the prophet Joel declared God’s promise, “In those days to come, I will pour out my spirit upon all mankind; Your sons and daughters shall prophesy.” Joel 2:28. Jeremiah spoke of the new covenant in which, “all from least to greatest shall know” the Almighty God. Jer. 31:34. The Book of Wisdom describes the image of Lady Wisdom who makes of holy souls, “friends of God and prophets.” Wis. 7:28.
Just before ascending into heaven, Jesus promised His Apostles that He would send them the Holy Spirit to be His prophetic witnesses unto the ends of the world, confirming similar promises made at the Last Supper. See John 14:16-17, 14:25-26, 15:26-27, 16:7-11; Acts 1:8. But this promised was not reserved only to the Apostles. For at Pentecost ten days later, the Holy Spirit come down upon all of the 110 Christians gathered in the upper room. And they went forth immediately to proclaim the Good News in Jerusalem and then throughout the Roman Empire. Before that time, they were well intentioned, but often limited by misunderstandings, fear and bickering. With the Holy Spirit they formed a strong, united band able to bring about a new springtime of faith.
Pentecost did not end 2000 years ago, but rather continues to thunder throughout the ages as the faithful bring the light of Christ to all nations. On Sunday, Bishop Burbidge confers the sacrament of Confirmation upon five of our young parishioners. Through that sacrament the Holy Spirit unites us more strongly to Christ and gives us the graces to become His faithful and wise messengers for the world around us. If we respond to that calling with generosity and courage, God will fulfill in us the ancient prayer of Moses that all of God’s people would receive the Holy Spirt, that we would all be prophets.