Dom Prosper Guéranger, in The Liturgical Year, looks at the discourse of Peter at the Pentecost event. The multitudes had gathered for the Jewish Pentecost, the Spirit descended upon the Apostles and then the others. Peter began to speak.
All understood him in their own languages, a proof of divine inspiration. Guéranger compares Peter to the new Moses promulgating the new Law. Speaking of the new Law:
Thus did the second Moses promulgate the new Law. How must his hearers have welcomed the stupendous gift of this new Pentecost, which put them in possession of the divine realities foreshadowed by that figurative one of old! Here again, it was God revealing himself to His creatures, and, as usual, by miracles. Peter alludes to the wonders wrought by Jesus, who thus bore testimony to his being the Messias. He tells His audience that the Holy Ghost has been sent from heaven, according to the promise made to this Jesus by His Father: they have proof enough of the great fact, in the gift of tongues of which they themselves are witnesses …
The Holy Spirit makes his presence and influence to be felt in the hearts of these favoured listeners. A few moments previously they were disciples of Sinai, who had come from distant lands to celebrate the bygone Pasch and Pentecost; now they have faith, simple and full faith, in Christ.
The Jewish Pentecost pales at each word of the new Moses; the Christian Pentecost manifests itself with clearer light. The rain of the Holy Ghost is inaugurated in Jerusalem, and under the very shadow of that Temple, which is doomed to destruction. Peter continued his instructions; but the sacred Volume has left us only these few words, wherewith, probably, the apostle made his final appeal to his hearers: ‘‘Save yourselves from this perverse generation!’’ … The Christian Pentecost, prefigured by the ancient one of the Jews, is of the number of the feasts that were instituted by the apostles.
The ancient Jews ascended to Mount Sinai and, later, to the Temple in Jerusalem. With Peter we continue our ascent. Ancient feasts foreshadowed our feasts, which fulfil and surpass their prefigurings. What a privilege it is to be Catholic Christian, recipients of the Holy Ghost sent by our Ascended Lord. What a grand pedigree and patrimony we all share. How bound we are together across time and space in the Third Person.
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