Faith and Values
Pentecost Sunday sees the long-awaited and promised coming of the Holy Spirit as he descends on the apostles transforming them from frightened cowards into powerful witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus. Today is known as the birthday of the Church, as the apostles begin proclaiming the gospel of Christ. Pentecost completes the seven- week Easter period and closes the Easter Season. Tomorrow, we return to the familiar green vestments and take up again the period of Ordinary time which now lasts right through until the first Sunday of Advent at the end of the year.
The Church not only recalls the event of the first Pentecost, but relives it in the liturgical mystery. The Spirit, which hovered over the waters at the beginning of creation, the Spirit which appeared as wind and fire to the apostles, continues to come and to shape the lives and destinies of men and women. In every age the Church has experienced the powerful presence and gentle influence of the Spirit. The hymn from the morning prayer of the Church on Pentecost Sunday sums up the feast:
A mighty wind invades the world,
So strong and free on beating wing;
It is the Spirit of the Lord
From whom all truth and freedom spring
The Spirit is a fountain clear
For ever leaping to the sky,
Whose waters give unending life
Whose timeless source is never dry.
The Spirit comes in tongues of flame,
With love and wisdom burning bright,
The wind, the fountain and the fire
Combine in this great feast of light.