If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to stay with you forever.
(John 14:15-17)

Dear sisters and brothers,

Fifty days after His glorious Resurrection, on the day of the Jewish Feast of Pentecost, Jesus Christ sent down the promised gift of the Holy Spirit upon His Apostles.

Pentecost is one of the three high festivals of the Old Covenant. This day commemorated how the prophet Moses bestowed the Decalogue on the Jewish people. The Jews in Jerusalem commemorated this day and offered sacrifices to the Lord.

The feast of Pentecost, Armenian "Hokekalusd", completes the feasts of the Lord. It bestows grace because it has freed us from the impurity of sin and restored to us our father's inheritance, Paradise.

Today is also called "Pentekoste", which means "fifty" in Greek and refers to the fact that this event took place fifty days after the resurrection of Christ.

While in the beginning this festival lasted three days, in the 12th century Catholicos Nerses Schnorhali extended it to seven days and declared this time to be "Bahk". At the same time he enriched the corresponding festive liturgy with charakan and readings. With this high festival, the "Hinanz" period also ends in the Armenian Church.

The glorious descent of the Holy Spirit took place in Jerusalem, in the Upper Room, which is now on Mount Sion in the Armenian Quarter. Christ invited his apostles to gather there. As they sat in prayer in the Upper Room in anticipation of the promised event, suddenly a sound came from heaven and filled the whole house.

The Holy Spirit did not descend quietly and secretly, but in a violent storm. Tongues like fire appeared to the apostles, spreading out, and one settled on each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in strange tongues as the Spirit prompted them (cf. Acts 2:1-4).

With the irruption of the Holy Spirit, the people of God, first formed at Sinai, was expanded to include all—without limitations of space or time.

Dear sisters and brothers,
after the crucifixion, death, and burial of Christ, the apostles were greatly distressed. While the resurrection brought them comfort, it was not until Pentecost that they experienced it in full power when the Holy Spirit descended upon them. "But when that comes, the Spirit of truth, he will lead you into all truth." (John 16:13) Christ said to his apostles.

In receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit and through the sacraments of the Church we too find true consolation.

In baptism, the Holy Spirit frees us from Adam's sin and makes us children of God.

Also in the celebration of the Eucharist the Holy Spirit works in communion and transforms the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ and bestows eternal life on the worthy.
The same applies to all other sacraments. The Spirit of God frees the penitent man from sin and raises him up.

Let us, dear compatriots, renew our lives with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and align our spirituality with our Savior Jesus Christ toward eternal life. Amen.

Yeghishe Vartabed Avetisyan