ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF LITURGY AND MUSIC
This week we celebrate The Feast of Pentecost, which is often called the Birth of the Church. It isone of the most ancient feasts of the church. The Acts of the Apostles recounts the story of thefirst Pentecost celebrated by believers in Jesus Christ. At that time Jewish people from all nationswere in Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish Feast of Pentecost which occurs 50 days after Passover.
It was the annual festival of the Jewish people and was a celebration of the harvest and of the dayMoses received the Law on Mount Sinai. The first Christian celebration of Pentecost occurred 10days after the Ascension of Jesus into heaven. On that day the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Apostles were gathered together in the upper room which was where they had last seen Jesusafter he was resurrected from the dead. As they were gathered, suddenly out of the sky there wasa tremendously loud noise like the blowing of a violent wind which symbolized the Spirit of God.
This was followed by Tongues of Fire which separated and rested on each of them, and they werefilled with the Holy Spirit, which enabled them to preach in every language. Because of thisGentiles were given the promise of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. No longer didsalvation depend on conforming to Jewish Law. It is said that over 3000 people were baptized onthat day. The spirit unified believers in Christ because they were baptized in one body. Origen,who was a scripture scholar in the third century, said that Pentecost is the feast mostcharacteristic of Christian life because it is the spirit of unification, not division.