top of page

The Holy Spirit made them great Saints

Isn’t it amazing how much the Apostles changed from simple, unimportant men to bold proclaimers of a Gospel that changed human history? As we read the four Gospels, we can almost hear Jesus’ frustration at the lack of understanding and faith in His Apostles. Jesus tried to teach them how the scriptures referred to Him in the prophets and Jewish history. They seem very slow to understand, and even more reluctant to have faith that Jesus was more than just a powerful teacher. They basically abandoned Him after His arrest (except John). They sit frightened and hiding after His death. They are not really expecting Him to rise, even though Jesus claimed that He would. Even after the Resurrection, they remained hidden, scared, and unsure if they could even believe their own eyes.

Then on the Feast of Pentecost, everything changed for them. The Holy Spirit gave them courage to proclaim the Risen Lord that they themselves had seen. The Spirit helped them to see how Jesus was the fulfillment of the teachings from the prophets. They miraculously shared the message with people who spoke many languages, even though they all understood. They began to work signs that confirmed the truth of their witness. They formed a community that was generous, united, and faithful. (There is a famous quote from an ancient Roman critic, “They share their possessions, but not their wives.” He meant that as a negative about them.) The Early Church was a bold contrast and witness to the people of their society. (As we should be in ours.)

What caused such a massive change in these men? It was the Holy Spirit. Yes, the same Holy Spirit that the Lord offers to us in Baptism, Confirmation, and our daily lives. We are also called to be transformed into bold, holy examples of those who have faith in Jesus Christ and His victory. If the Lord can change the whole world through simple fishermen and poor disciples, can’t He do the same through us? You bet, but only if we welcome the Holy Spirit to transform our lives too.

Rev. Matthew S. Bonk


bottom of page