Sunday, May 23, 2021 - Pentecost Sunday
Did you know?
This weekend, the Church celebrates Pentecost, one of the most important feast days of the year that concludes the Easter Season and celebrates the beginning of the church. Many refer to Pentecost at the birthday of the church.
Pentecost always occurs 50 days after the death and resurrection of Jesus, and ten days after his ascension into heaven. Because Easter is a movable feast without a fixed date, and Pentecost depends on the timing of Easter, Pentecost can fall anywhere between May 10 and June 13! The name of the day itself is derived from the Greek word "pentecoste" which mens 50th.
There is a parallel Jewish holiday, Shavu'ot, which falls 50 days after the Passover. It is sometimes called the festival of weeks, referring to the seven weeks since Passover. Every year, the Jewish people renew their acceptance of the gift of the Torah on this feast.
Pentecost is the celebration of the person of the Holy Spirit coming upon the Apostles, Mary and the first followers of Jesus, who were gathered together in the Upper Room. A "strong, driving" wind filled the room where they were gathered, and tongues of fire came to rest on their heads, allowing them to speak in different languages so that they could uderstand each other. It was such a strange phenomenon that some people thought the Christians were drunk! But Peter pointed out that it was only the morning, and explained to them that the phehomenon was caused by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit gave the apostles the gifts and fruits necessary to fulfill the great commission - to go out and preach the Gospel to all nations. It fulfills the New Testament promise from Christ that the Apostles would be "clothed with power" before they would be sent out to spread the Gospel. (Luke 24:46-49)
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are: Widsom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord.