June is the season for graduations. Teens are overjoyed to finish their course of study at the local high schools and college graduates are eager to embark on the next phase of their life-long journey.
For the holy Disciples, the Sunday of Pentecost also marked a sort of graduation
In the Gospels, we often see the Lord’s followers, “The Twelve” referred to as Disciples, and other times as Apostles. There were many followers of the Saviour but few received this lofty title.
In Greek the close followers of the Lord are referred to as “Mathitais” – meaning students/learners. The band of “The Twelve” differed from other followers. They were not like the others, for the Lord had many followers. They were students, learning at the feet of the Lord.
On the sacred day of Pentecost, the “The Twelve” graduated. They were no longer students but they were transformed into “Apostoloi” – Messengers through the gift of the Holy Spirit. They were sent forth and given a mission to preach the good news of the Savior’s redemption to mankind. They were sent to the ends-of-the-Earth.
“Blessed art Thou, O Christ God Who hast shown forth the fishermen as supremely wise by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit; and through them didst draw the world into Thy net, o most-merciful Lord glory be to Thee.”