Why did the apostles receive the Holy Spirit twice?

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QUESTION: why does the Gospel of John say that after the Resurrection Jesus said “Receive the Holy Spirit,” and then the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles on the day of Pentecost? When did they truly receive the Holy Ghost?

ANSWER: Saint Thomas Aquinas notes that the Holy Spirit descended twice not only on the apostles, but also on Jesus Christ. The first time it happened on the day of Epiphany, and the second time – on the day of the Transfiguration. The Holy Spirit rested on Him in two different forms: first in the form of a dove, and then – in the form of a shining cloud. Saint Thomas in his “Interpretation of the Gospel of John” writes that this happened because “the grace of Christ, which is given to us by the Holy Spirit, should have come down to us as through the Sacraments (this is why in Baptism he descended in the form of a dove, that is, in image of a fertile animal) and through teaching, and therefore He descended in the form of a shining cloud. That is why, in such situations, the Teacher’s assignment is mentioned: “Listen to Him!”.

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