From Deacon Dick
"Receive the Holy Spirit"
Pentecost is not just another Sunday. Fr. John Foley, S. J. explains that it is a Feast equal to Christmas and Easter themselves. The Feast of Pentecost was originally the Jewish Feast of weeks commemorating the gift of the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai 50 days after the Exodus. Christians celebrate Pentecost as the day when the Holy Spirit was poured out in the Upper Room upon the apostles and other disciples in the form of tongues of fire and a strong wind, fifty days after Easter Sunday.
In the Gospel we are told that the apostles, imprisoned and bound by fear of the Jews after Jesus' death, have locked themselves into the upper room. Then Jesus came and stood before them. He breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit." And immediately, the apostles’ fears vanished. But what changed the disciples from fearful hiding behind locked doors to fearless witnesses in the world? Fr. James Gilhooley says the Holy Spirit is the master of surprises who makes the impossible possible. God’s Spirit is the one who reminds us that it does not require great people to do great things - just unselfish ones.
So who exactly is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the animating principle of the Christian life, the Soul of the Christian soul. The Holy Spirit - Jesus' first gift - is His greatest gift to us. And this is because this gift contains God Himself, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. But the Holy Spirit is not just a person inside the Trinity, hopelessly abstract and beyond our conception, Fr. Ron Rolheiser reminds us. He points out that Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit is also very concrete, conceivable, and tangible inside of charity, joy, peace, patience, goodness, longsuffering, fidelity, gentleness, and chastity.
Source: Catholic Living Today