On the Thursday after Pentecost, the Matins hymns offer us insight into what the Feast of Pentecost means for believers and how we experience the new dispensation of God’s salvation.
The Holy Spirit, the giver of grace has come down upon earth,
Not as in the days of old:
Through the shadow of the law or the dawn of the prophets.
Rather, now He is given to us in person,
Through the mediation of Christ.
Let us cleanse our hearts by the practice of virtue,
That we may receive his illumination,
For He enlightens us in a Holy Mystery.
In the Old Covenant, the Holy Spirit came down upon some of God’s people, such as the prophets, and they spoke the Word of the Lord to God’s people. At Pentecost, we celebrate that no longer do we receive the Holy Spirit only through the inspired Scriptures: now we receive from God our Father His Holy Spirit, as gift. The person of the Holy Spirit is revealed to us and given to us. The Holy Spirit abides in us – not just the gifts of the spirit, or the Spirit’s power or effects, but the Spirit Himself comes upon us and lives in us! We, God’s people, are to live that changed life which allows God’s Holy Spirit to abide in us.
Moses said … “Would that all the LORD’s people were prophets, that the LORD would put his Spirit upon them!” (Numbers 11:29)
Not only are the prophecies fulfilled, but the Holy Spirit abides in all of us who are baptized into Christ. Prophecy is changed into reality and we enter into the hoped for time of the Lord.
Behold, the oracles of the prophets are fulfilled!
He who discloses Himself dimly to them
Now plainly reveals Himself as God the Paraclete!
He is fully poured out upon the apostles.
Through them the faithful have come to worship the uncreated Trinity!
The Spirit of God which inspired the prophets, now comes to inspire all of us who listen to their words, coming to abide in us so that we might be with Christ forever.