What Pentecost Means for the Christian Life

The season of Pentecost celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the birth of the Church. But what does Pentecost mean for the Christian life? What does it mean for you and I personally?

Jackie and Bobby say we need to live Pentecost each and every day—not just right after Easter. Otherwise, the sacraments just become “checking the box”. Bobby says we need to get “into the upper room”—that is, the room in which the Holy Spirit first descended upon Mary and the Apostles on Pentecost. We’re called to partake of the same holy fire in the Holy Spirit.

And then—Bobby says— we have to get “out of the upper room”. To go forth and spread the Gospel in the world, just as the Apostles did.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that the sacraments aren’t “magic”. They depend on God’s grace first, and also our willing participation:

“From the moment that a sacrament is celebrated in accordance with the intention of the Church, the power of Christ and his Spirit acts in and through it, independently of the personal holiness of the minister. Nevertheless, the fruits of the sacraments also depend on the disposition of the one who receives them.”

CCC 1128

Jackie points out that Peter was baptized, and yet he still denied Jesus three time. It wasn’t until the Holy Spirit came upon him at Pentecost that he had the courage to go out and proclaim the Good News. Saint Irenaeus explains this beautifully:

“Through the baptism that liberates us from change and decay we have become one in body; through the Spirit we have become one in soul.”

Saint Irenaeus, Against Heresies

So how do we receive an outpouring of the Holy Spirit? Well, the Church invites us to receive this outpouring primarily through the sacrament of Confirmation. This sacrament isn’t “graduation from the Catholic faith”; on the contrary, it’s an invitation to be sent forth into the world to proclaim the Gospel in the Spirit. Confirmation activates our baptism. You can see this in action in the Acts of the Apostles:

“While Apol′los was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ And they said, ‘No, we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ And he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They said, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ And Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.”

Acts 19:1-6

The traditional Prayer of the Holy Spirit is a beautiful invocation that has its basis in the Psalms:

“When thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created;
    and thou renewest the face of the ground.”

Psalm 104:30

This is what the Holy Spirit wants to do through us. To renew the face of the earth. To heal the body of Christ. When the Holy Spirit dwells within you, “you can’t help but take it out into the world.”

If you’re wondering what the gifts of the Holy Spirit are, what your charism is, and what charismatic worship looks like (and why you don’t have to be afraid of it), check out Jackie’s video on being a charismatic Catholic.

Also, check out Jackie and Bobby’s book on discernment, Pray, Decide, and Don’t Worry.

Meet Jackie and Bobby Angel

Jackie and Bobby Angel

Jackie Francois Angel is a full-time worship leader and speaker. Bobby Angel is a campus minister and theology teacher at a Catholic high school. Married in 2013, they have four beautiful children and strive to grow in holiness each day!

See more videos from them here or visit their website.