The unusual icon of our bulletin is termed the “Mid-Pentecost” image. Strangely enough, the idea of observing a Mid-Pentecost day is not new in the Church. There are traces of a festival that comes midway between Resurrection and Pentecost as far back as the 5th century.
We have here a rather unique picture of Christ as the GREAT TEACHER of mankind. The Gospel for the day tells of Jesus “going up into the temple” in the midst of the feast, and teaching. And so, the icon shows a young Christ teaching a group of obviously mature and learned men, who seem somewhat surprised at the wisdom of their Mentor. The Lord is depicted with one hand in a gesture of making a point, while the other hand clutches a scroll.
Yes, the entire scene makes one think of a twelve-year-old Jesus in Jerusalem, without the Holy Virgin and Joseph. St. Luke tells of the incident: “After three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of doctors, both hearing them and answering their questions.” What we have then, is a composite setting of Christ, Divine Wisdom, of deed and word, a profound teaching for every generation.
There is a need today for us to gather about the feet of Our Lord, as did Mary, the sister of Lazarus, “choosing the best part,” and listening to the instruction of the Master. Let this be our task as we await the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the feast of Pentecost, coming 50 days after the Lord’s Resurrection.
The Orthodox Weekly Bulletin - Cliffwood, NJ