The apostles receive the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem - Catholic Courier
A colorful illustration depicts the apostles with tongues of fire over their heads. The apostles receive the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. (Illustration by Linda Jeanne Rivers)

The apostles receive the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem

Reading of May 28, 2023: Acts 2:1-11

In this issue:

Children’s story: The apostles receive the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
Trivia Question
Bible Accent: The tower of Babel
Saint for Today: St. Ephraem
Puzzle: Arrange the words

One day, the apostles were all together in one place in Jerusalem.

Suddenly, a loud noise like a strong, driving wind came from the sky. The sound filled the entire house where they were staying.

Then, the apostles saw tongues of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.

All of the apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit, which gave them the power to speak in different languages.

At that time, Jews from many different countries were in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Weeks, which also was called Pentecost. They heard the commotion at the apostles’ house and decided to investigate..

A large crowd gathered at the house. The Jews from other countries were shocked that the apostles could speak to them in their native languages.

“Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?” the people in the crowd asked in amazement.

“We are Parthians, Medes and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God,” they said.

“What does this mean?” some in the crowd wanted to know.

“They have had too much new wine,” others in the crowd scoffed.

Just then, Peter stood up with the other 11 apostles and spoke in a loud voice.

“These people are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only 9 o’clock in the morning,” he said.

Then, in a long speech, he explained everything about Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” Peter said. “For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.”

About 3,000 people were baptized that day.

READ MORE ABOUT IT:

Acts 2

Q&A

1. What made a sound like a driving wind?

2. What were the apostles able to do after being filled by the Holy Spirit?

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Trivia Question

What prophet did Peter quote at the beginning of his speech? (Hint: Acts 2:16)

Answer: Joel

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Bible Accent

The Old Testament also contains a story about the many languages people spoke.

In Genesis 10, we read about Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, and the families they had after the flood. The descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth became the nations that branched out all over the earth.

Genesis 11 tells us that at one time, all the people on earth after the flood spoke the same language.

As people migrated eastward, they came upon a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there.

“Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and so make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth,” they said.

God came down to see the city and the tower the people had built.

“If now, while they are one people, all speaking the same language, they have started to do this, nothing will later stop them from doing whatever they presume to do,” God said. “Let us then go down there and confuse their language, so that one will not understand what another says.”

God scattered the people from the land of Shinar over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.

That is why the city was called Babel, because there God confused the speech of all the world.

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Saint for Today: St. Ephraem

St. Ephraem was born in Nisibis, Mesopotamia, in 306. He was baptized at 18 and was said to have accompanied his bishop to the Council of Nicaea in 325.

He headed the cathedral school in Nisibis until Persians took over the city in 363. He then moved to Edessa and frequently preached in that city. He also wrote many poems, hymns and Bible commentaries.

Known to Syrian Christians as “the harp of the Holy Ghost,” he died in 373, and we remember him on June 9.

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Puzzle

Below is a list of the fruits of the Holy Spirit that the apostle Paul described in Galatians 5:22-23. Arrange the list in the correct order, using the Scripture passage for hints.

generosity, peace, love, self-control, kindness, joy, gentleness, patience, faithfulness

1. _______

2. _______

3. _______

4. _______

5. _______

6. _______

7. _______

8. _______

9. _______

Answers: 1. love; 2. joy; 3. peace; 4. patience; 5. kindness; 6. generosity; 7. faithfulness; 8. gentleness; 9. self-control

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