Pentecost Sunday is one of the most ancient feasts of the Church, celebrated early
enough to be mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles and in St. Paul's First Letter
to the Corinthians. It is the 50th day after Easter, and it replaces the Jewish feast
of Pentecost, which took place 50 days after the Passover and which celebrated the
sealing of the Old Covenant on Mount Sinai.
The Acts of the Apostles recounts
the story of the original Pentecost: Jews from all over were gathered in Jerusalem
to celebrate the Jewish feast. On that Sunday, ten days after the Ascension of Our
Lord, the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary were gathered in the Upper Room, where
they had seen Christ after His Resurrection. And suddenly there came a sound from
heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were
sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat
upon every one of them: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began
to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. Christ
had promised His Apostles that He would sent His Holy Spirit, and, on Pentecost, they
were granted the gifts of the Spirit. The Apostles began to preach the Gospel in all
of the languages that the Jews who were gathered there spoke, and about 3,000 people
were converted and baptized that day.
That is why Pentecost is often called
"the birthday of the Church." On this day, with the descent of the Holy Spirit, Christ's
mission is completed, and the New Covenant is inaugurated.
Father Jim Brand
reflects on this special Feast for the Church and for all of us… Listen...