Happy birthday to the Catholic Church! Happy birthday to us, who are the body of the Church!

We’re all familiar with our own birthdays, and we celebrate them because they mark the day of the year in which we entered into this life. But did you know we have a second birthday? Because we are part of the body of the Church, Pentecost is the Church’s birthday, and yours as well. And like any birthday, it’s a cause for celebration.

 

The word Pentecost is Greek, and it means “50th day.” Fifty days after Easter Sunday, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and their followers, and the beginning of their Earthly ministry to make disciples of all nations.

 

At Pentecost, the Apostles and their followers were gathered in a room. People from all over the world were gathered with Peter, the leader of the Apostles and the Eleven. At this time, a great wind blew, and a flame appeared as a tongue of fire, which split itself into many individual flames above the heads of all those present. The Holy Spirit came upon these people and each began to speak in tongues. Despite the fact many had no common language, they were perfectly able to understand one another.

 

Others who were not so blessed, accused those speaking in tongues of being drunk, but Peter arose and addressed the crowd, explaining that it was only 9 o’clock, and that this phenomenon was not intoxication, but rather this was the work of the Holy Spirit, prophesied in the scripture.Peter then called all those present to be baptised and about three thousand people were baptised that day.

 

The symbols of Pentecost are the flame, wind, and the dove, which represents the Holy Spirit. The colour of Pentecost is red, and the priest wears red vestments on this day to mark the flame of the Holy Spirit coming upon us all.

 

On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ’s Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a divine person: of his fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance. On this day, the Holy Trinity is fully revealed.

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