The three great Jewish Feasts are: The Passover , a celebration of the exodus which is recalled in the Passover (Seder) dinner .
Pentecost, a harvest feast in which the first fruits of the harvest is presented to God. A feast of Thanksgiving.
Feast of the Booths or Tabernacles . After the harvest, booths were erected to celebrate in the fields and then in the Temple.
Pentecost, meaning 50th day, has its roots in Jewish tradition. This coming Sunday, we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost , the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples of Jesus. It’s the Church’s birthday.
In the Christian Church, the feast of Pentecost brings to conclusion the Easter season. God, sent the promised Holy Spirit, and as we learn from Christ what the Spirit does for us, his disciples, we come to appreciate more and more this wonderful gift. Jesus promised that he will not leave us orphans. He promised the Advocate (lawyer) who will substitute victory for defeat, hope for despair, strength for weakness and courage for fear.
At Pentecost, the disciples had an experience of the power of the Spirit such as they never had before. What a change came on the disciples of Jesus!
The promise of Jesus came true on Pentecost. ” When the day of Pentecost arrived, all believers were gathered together in one place, (The upper room). Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing …Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire spreading out; They were all filled with the Holy spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak”.(Acts 2).
Unity came to the believers, and now their faith and courage survived all kinds of difficulties and persecutions. The Spirit of Truth still moves and protects the Church today. We , the Church cannot succumb to fear or be ashamed of our religion. We as the dicsiples, have a role to play in human history . As people filled with the Holy Spirit, we have the duty to proclaim the good news of the gospel, ‘both when convenient or inconvenient’. It’s our duty to spread hope and courage. ‘Do not be afraid’, after every setback, the Church became more glorious and triumphant and fortified with new hope into a new Pentecost. ‘The greatest gift we can give to the Church on her birthday, is to renew our trust and our hope in her mission. The Church has a sacred role to play. It is the visible sign of Christ’s presence within history. Happy Birthday, Church !!!
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit:::Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel, Fortitude, Piety, and Fear ( Awe) of the Lord.====Veni, Sancte Spiritus…Come Holy Spirit.
Prayer:::Almighty and ever-living God, you fulfilled the Easter promise by sending us
your Holy Spirit. May that Spirit unite the races and nations on earth to proclaim
your glory. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and
reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Bk. of Christian Prayer).
God bless you and yours. Fr. David, O.P.