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It is nine days – one novena – since Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, leaving His Apostles with the command to “stay in the city, then, until you are clothed with the power from on high” (Luke 24: 49). The questions, discussions and unspoken thoughts at what had happened in the past months – the arrest, conviction and death of Christ, His resurrection, His appearances to them and others, and ultimately His return to the Father and that unheard-of promise of them being clothed with the power from on high – can only be imagined. But stay in the city they did. The Apostles “went to the upper room where they were staying; there were Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Jude son of James. With one heart all these joined constantly in prayer, together with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers” (Acts 1: 13-14).
The apostles, the women with Mary Jesus’ mother, and various other followers, began the original novena to pray for the coming of this power that Jesus had promised to send. to them.
That power, the Holy Spirit, comes today. The Church is born.
“When Pentecost day came round, they had all met together, when suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of a violent wind which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and there appeared to them tongues as of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak different languages as the Spirit gave them power to express themselves.” (Acts 2: 1-4)