As Catholics, we relished in the anticipation of Advent, sacrificed during Lent and were joyful in the resurrection of Easter  

We will soon celebrate Pentecost, the most spiritually enriching feast of the liturgical year but perhaps the most difficult to understand. The Nativity brought the birth of Jesus, Lent the crucifixion, and, of course, three days later the resurrection.  

Pentecost, which comes from the Greek word for 50th, since Pentecost is 50 days after Easter, is rooted in the Old Testament and was referred to by several names. In the Old Testament Pentecost was a harvest festival, signaling the end of the grain harvest.  

Even today, Pentecost is known as the “Green Holyday” in Poland and Ukraine, “Flower Feast” in Germany, and “Pascha Rosatum” or “Feast of the Roses” in Latin countries.  

In the New Testament, however, Pentecost is rooted in St. Luke’s Gospel as well as the Acts of the Apostles and represents when the Holy Spirit was bestowed upon the apostles and thus the Catholic Church. The day is also considered the birthday of the church.  

The Bible passages describe the two symbols of the Holy Spirit as wind and fire, with fire symbolizing the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit’s actions. The Holy Spirit is depicted as tongues of fire resting on the heads of the disciples on the morning of Pentecost.  

Pentecost is considered by many to be the most important feast day of the year, as through the Holy Spirit, Catholics and Christians are able to share in Christ’s grace and to be led back to the kingdom of heaven and given a share of eternal joy.  

It is believed the mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is completed in the church, bringing the faithful to share in the communion of Jesus with the father in the Holy Spirit.  

Since the Holy Spirit is considered the anointing of Christ, it is written that Jesus, as head of the body, pours out the Holy Spirit among his members to give them life and bear witness to his word.  

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pentecost is the beginning of the new “age of the church” when Christ lives and acts in and with his church.