The Catholic Defender: Pentecost, The "Fiftieth Day"
Pentecost, the Greek name for “Fiftieth Day“!
It takes place 50 days from Easter! In Hebrew, (חג השבועות Hag haShavuot or Shevuot known as “the Feast of Weeks.”
Pentecost also marks the 1988th birthday of the Catholic Faith.
Some might say Ascension Thursday is the birth of the Papacy, regardless, this is when we were sent out by the coming of the Holy Spirit!
This was the event the Lord called for his Apostles and disciples to wait in Jerusalem. This was the event that would change the world forever.
In the Old Testament, the work of the Holy Spirit was shown through powerful signs and wonders among the Israelite.
“So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. Gathering seventy elders of the people, he had them stand around the tent. The Lord then came down in the cloud and spoke to him. Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses, he bestowed it on the seventy elders; and as the spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied. Now two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad, were not in the gathering but had been left in the camp. They too had been on the list, but had not gone out to the tent; yet the spirit came to rest on them also, and they prophesied in the camp. So, when a young man quickly told Moses, Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp, Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses aide, said, “Moses, my lord, stop them”. But Moses answered him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets? Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all” (Numbers 11:24-29)!
Think of what Moses just said, “Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all”? The Lord had this in mind all along. This was why Jesus instructed the Apostles to wait upon the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem.
This would become the first Novena of the Catholic Church as they awaited for the glory of the Lord. Unlike the Old Testament when the Spirit of God would come upon the Lord’s people through His Ministers, we have the gift of the Holy Spirit 24/7.
“When he reached Lehi, and the Philistines came shouting to meet him, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him (Samson): the ropes around his arms became as flax that is consumed by fire and his bonds melted away from his hands. Near him was the fresh jawbone of an ass; he reached out, grasped it, and with it killed a thousand men. Samson cried out to the Lord, “You have granted this great victory by the hand of your servant. Must I now die of thirst or fall into the hands of the uncircumcised? Then God split the cavity in Lehi, and water issued from it, which Samson drank till his spirit returned and revived” (Judges 15:14-19).
The New Testament, Jesus states, “I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name–he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you” (John 14:25-26).
John 16:13 Jesus says, “But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you”.
Jesus Said he would build his Church and the Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus through his Catholic Church.
The Holy Spirit declares the truth to the people of God. This is important because many false prophets have come and they give the Holy Spirit credit for their interpretations and opinions. That is dangerous and the Catholic believer must be aware of this.
With Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles (50 days after the Resurrection of the Lord), we have seen the glory of the Lord.
The Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles and Disciples along with Mother Mary, in the form of tongues of fire.
The Holy Spirit filled them all as they spoke in different tongues to the people. As the Holy Spirit scattered the people building the Tower of Babel with diverse languages (Genesis 11:7-9), the Lord was bringing the people to the Church through languages (Acts 2:5-12).
With the coming of the Spirit on Pentecost, the Catholic Church is enabled by the Lord to accomplish his will to take the gospel to all the nations. Praise the name of the Lord! Veni Creator Spiritus!
Consider Mark 9:42, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” This warning is again found in Matthew 18:6-7, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come!”
What a stark contrast from the first reading and the Gospel today, because much is given to us, much is expected. We need to pray for America like never before. Souls are at stake. The Holy Spirit has not been taken from us (2 Thessalonians 2:7) and we are still under the law of grace. How wonderful was Pope Francis journey to the United States and again the stark contrast between the Servants of the Lord (Isaiah 54:17) from those who seek to change America from it’s Christian foundations. Let us hold the line and not fall out of His Grace.