Today, fifty days after our celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection, the Easter season ends with the feast of Pentecost. While he was with his disciples, Jesus promised not to leave them alone. When he returned to his Father, the Father would send the Holy Spirit, the Advocate or Counsellor who would guide and strengthen the disciples. In today’s First Reading, the Spirit comes in dramatic fashion, sounding like a strong wind and appearing like fire.
The feast of Pentecost is the beginning of the Church. The apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit, began to witness to ‘the marvels of God.’ The division of the human race into different languages was overcome by the Spirit’s gift of tongues – people from all over the known world could understand the witness of the apostles. From Jerusalem, the Church would begin to spread throughout the Roman Empire, as the Holy Spirit gave the disciples courage to proclaim fearlessly the Good News.
Today’s feast reminds us that we are a missionary Church. We have received the Holy Spirit in our Baptism and Confirmation, and like the first disciples, we are sent out into the world to witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ.