Acts 2:1-11; 1Cor 12:3-7,12-13/Gal 5:16-25; Jn 20:19-23 (15:26-27,16;12-15)
Jesus Breathes the Holy Spirit
OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Christina I. Hermoso
Christians observe Pentecost Sunday today
By CHRISTINA I. HERMOSO
Christians celebrate today the feast of the Pentecost, seven weeks after Easter and 10 days after Ascension Thursday, in commemoration of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles.
In Rome, Italy, Pope Benedict XVI will hold the Mass of Priestly Ordination in celebration and recognition of the Apostolic succession – from the Apostles to the priests — who have been authorized by God to spread the Gospel.
In the country, a Eucharistic Celebration on the theme “Come Back to Me — God’s Call for Reconciliation” was celebrated by Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila which began at 12 midnight and ended at 2 a.m. today, Pentecost Sunday.
A worship concert was held before the mass.
The Roman Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Pentecost Sunday with solemnity, the highest liturgical rank for any feast.
Christian churches recognize Pentecost Sunday as “The Birth of the Church,” a time when the Holy Spirit worked a miracle not only in each of the apostles but also , through them, the whole Church to complete its foundation. Church officials said Pentecost Sunday reminds the faithful of the significant role played by the Holy Spirit in man’s salvation.
“Through the Holy Spirit, we are restored to paradise, led back to the Kingdom of Heaven and adopted as children, given confidence to call God “Father” and to share in Jesus’ grace, called children of light and given a share in eternal glory.”
Pentecost (from the Greek word “Pentekoste” meaning 50th) Sunday was originally a Jewish feast, which was instituted to oblige the Israelites to acknowledge the Lord’s dominion over their country and their labors by offering the first fruits of all their harvests and to commemorate and render thanksgiving to God for the law given to them from Mt. Sinai on the 50th day after their Exodus or the coming out of Egypt (Matthew 18:24,23).
Acts 2:1 narrates the events of Pentecost which occurred after the ascension of Jesus when the apostles retired in a house in Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit as Jesus had promised: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly, there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire and it set upon each of them and they were filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
The Center for Liturgy Sunday said “tongues like as of fire” means the apostles were to speak with the passion of burning love while “to speak with other tongues” was the key for the spread of the Gospel marking the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles.
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