This Sunday we celebrate PENTECOST. What does Pentecost mean to you? Here is how Pope Benedict summarized it in 2012:
“This Solemnity makes us remember and relive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and the other disciples gathered in prayer with the Virgin Mary in the Upper Room (cf. Acts 2:1-11). Jesus, risen and ascended into Heaven, sent his Spirit to the Church so that every Christian might participate in his own divine life and become his valid witness in the world. The Holy Spirit, breaking into history, defeats aridity, opens hearts to hope, stimulates and fosters in us an interior maturity in our relationship with God and with our neighbour.”
Each year we celebrate Pentecost, is anything different to you or in your life? Has your life been reignited by the Holy Spirit and do you actively try to develop and grow your relationship with the Holy Spirit?
Here are some fast facts about Pentecost you should know and share courtesy of National Catholic Register:
1. What does the name “Pentecost” mean?
It comes from the Greek word for “fiftieth” (pentecoste). The reason is that Pentecost is the fiftieth day (Greek, pentecoste hemera) after Easter Sunday (on the Christian calendar).
In the Old Testament, it is referred to by several names: The feast of weeks, The feast of harvest, The day of first-fruits. Today in Jewish circles it is known as Shavu`ot (Hebrew, “weeks”).
In England (and English), it has also been known as “Whitsunday.”
3. What kind of feast was Pentecost in the Old Testament?
It was a harvest festival, signifying the end of the grain harvest. Deuteronomy 16:9-11 sheds more light on this.
It represents the fulfillment of Christ’s promise from the end of Luke’s Gospel:
“You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high” [Read Luke. 24:46-49].
5. Is there a connection between the “tongues” of fire and the speaking in other “tongues”?
Yes. In both cases, the Greek word for “tongues” is the same (glossai). The word “tongue” signifies both an individual flame and an individual language. The “tongues as of fire” (i.e., individual flames) are distributed to and rest on the disciples, thus empowering them to miraculously speak in “other tongues” (i.e., languages).
Let us pray and ask the Holy Spirit for his gifts to fill us this Pentecost! Amen