The Gospel reading for the Vigil Mass for Pentecost is John 7:37-39.

Despite many disciples turning away after He reveals that men must eat His Body and Blood for salvation (John 6:22-59) and the Jewish leadership plot to kill Him, Christ travels to Jerusalem in private for the Feast of the Tabernacles. The Feast of the Tabernacles is a mandatory Jewish feast (Lev 23:33-43) held annually in the fall to celebrate God’s deliverance during the Exodus and the blessings of the fall harvest. Christ will transform the meaning of the two core rituals (pouring of water on the altar of sacrifice, the light-filled processions at night) to reveal that His is the living water and true light by which men gain life.

On the eighth day of the Feast, the Jews celebrated the fulfillment of God’s promise to enter the Promised Land, a land which gave abundant water compared to the austere desert. Christ, unafraid of the Jewish leadership who are seeking to arrest and kill Him (John 7:32), proclaims the astounding revelation that He is the source of living waters that will quench men’s souls. Christ’s revelation is a divine synthesis of multiple Scriptural prophecies (which He inspired);  Genesis speaks of the life-giving waters of Eden (Gen 2:10-14); Ezekiel describes a new temple from which healing waters will flow (Ezek 47:1-12); Zechariah reveals when God is recognized as King over all the earth, fresh water will flow from Jerusalem (Zech 14:8-9).  

John, Christ’s beloved disciple who stood at the foot of the Cross with the Virgin Mary, offers insight into Christ’s prophetic words. John reveals Christ’s promise of “rivers of living water will flow from within him” is a prophecy of the coming of the Holy Spirit to those who believe in Christ. As Christ reveals, those who are baptized are reborn in “water and Spirit” (John 3:5), which allows men to become adopted sons of God; the Spirit will be sent by Christ to all men who believe after His Ascension at Pentecost (Act 2:1-13). 

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ purposefully chooses when and how to offer His revelation. Divine Prophet, Christ inspires all the Old Testament prophets to predict His Kingship and uses their words to reveal His presence. Son of Man, Christ fearlessly speaks the Truth in the presence of those who plan to kill Him.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1)  Be astounded by Christ’s divine ability to inspire and use Scripture to reveal His saving mission which speaks to the hearts of men across time.  

2) While many men actively engage in the blessed celebration of Christmas and Easter, the life-giving and profound implications of the great Feast of Pentecost can be overlooked. At Pentecost, deepen your understanding of our creedal vow “I believe in the Holy Spirit” (CCC 687-747) and pray for Christ to help you to more fully accept the divine graces of the Holy Spirit indwelling in your soul. 

3)  In the noisiness of daily life, it can be difficult to remember that men are “super-naturalized” at Baptism with the outpouring of Grace, as the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in their souls. At Pentecost, refresh your understanding of the blessings of Grace (CCC 1996-2005, 2017-2029) and pray for Christ to help you rely on the Holy Spirit in your daily life.