In the Catholic faith, the holiest day of our year. It is the event that gives the definition to our entire faith. If someone were to ask, what is the second most important day, I would suspect that a majority of people would say that it is Christmas. While Christmas is extremely holy, the second most important is, in fact, Pentecost.
St. John Chrysostom wrote of the feast of Pentecost, “Today we have arrived at the peak of all blessings, we have reached the capital of feasts, we have obtained the very fruit of the Lord's promise.” The word comes from the Greek word for “fiftieth” and is celebrated fifty days after Easter.
It is celebrated as the birthday of the Church. Pentecost is the feast when the Holy Spirit entered into the life of the Church. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity, and it is because this Spirit of God is now in the Church, that the Church is alive. It is because of the Holy Spirit that the Apostles and all disciples to the present day are able to declare that Jesus Christ is Lord. It is the Holy Spirit that moves Catholics to love God and love their neighbor. It is the Holy Spirit that gives the Saints their grace and mercy to sinners.
Next weekend is the birthday of the Church. Let us thank the Lord for the great gift of the third person of the Holy Trinity and the life of the Church that leads us to heaven.
Fr. Nels Gjengdahl