Pentecost (2016)

St. Symeon the New Theologian (d. 1021AD) reflects on the importance of Pentecost for each Christian.

“As our body, whether ill or not, is unable to move or even live at all without a soul, so our soul, too, whether it sins or not, is dead without the Holy Spirit and can in no way live everlastingly. If sin is death’s sting, clearly he who has sinned has been stung and is dead; and, if no one is without sin – for everyone, Paul says, has sinned and been deprived of God’s glory [Rom. 3:23] – then, obviously, all we who have sinned have died are dead. So imagine yourself together with me as spiritually dead. Then tell me how you may truly live without having been united with the true life, that is, the Holy Spirit, through Whom every believer is regenerated and made alive again in Christ?

‘I am the truth’, He says, ‘and the resurrection, and the life’ [Jn 14:16 and 11:25]. The servants and disciples of Christ are light and truth and life. ‘He who receives you’, He says, ‘receives Me, and he Who receives Me receives Him Who sent Me’ [Mt 10:40]. If we are dead and He alone is life everlasting, let us not say that we serve Him before we have been united with Him and live. How can the dead ever serve anyone? Unless we put Him on consciously, like a cloak, let us not think that we have been freed at all from our infirmities and the passions which trouble us.”  (On the Mystical Life: The Ethical Discourses, pp 92-93)

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”  (Galatians 3:27)