May 19, About Today for PENTECOST SUNDAY

Last Sunday of the Easter Season



“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly, a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together…”

Acts 2:1-6

Pentecost Sunday is one of the principle celebrations in the liturgical life of the Church. It marks the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the end of Eastertide, and it falls 50 days after the Resurrection of Our Lord.

In ancient Jewish tradition, Pentecost was ‘the feast of weeks’ where Israelites offered ‘first fruits’ to God in thanksgiving of the full harvest which was to come. Also traditionally, Jewish Pentecost came to honor the day Moses received the Law on Mount Sinai. On that day, God spoke to His chosen race through Moses with thunder, lightning and trumpet blasts, guiding his people with the Law of the Ten Commandments. [2][3]

Christian Pentecost, with the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, builds on the Old Law but brings new meaning to it. In this Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is trumpeted and the New Law is Great News; Christ has been crowned in Heaven and he desires for us to join Him. He gives us the birth of the Church and shows us how to be united in faith. When we model Jesus Christ and align with God’s Spirit, it produces in us rich fruits including; “…charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity” (Cat.1832). In other words, through the Ten Gifts of the Holy Spirit, we are shown how to live out this closeness with God and with our brothers and sisters. [4][5][6]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Revised Standard Version, s.v. “The Acts of the Apostles.”
[2] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “Pentecost (Jewish Feast).”
[3] Samuele Bucchiocchi, “Festival Typology,” in God’s Festivals in Scripture and History, vol 2, The Fall Festivals (Berrian Springs, MI: Biblical Perspectives, 2001).
[4] Ibid.
[5] Benedict XVI, “Prayer Vigil and Meeting, Solemnity of Pentecost” June 3, 2006.
[6] Gal. 5:11-23; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., 1832.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission by Surgeworks, Inc for the Divine Office Catholic Ministry. website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2011 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved. (0)

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