PENTECOST (Hokekaloust)

On Sunday May 27, 2012 we will celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost (so called because it is fifty days after Easter Day) as the day on which the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, gathered in an upper room with Mary, mother of Jesus, “as a mighty, rushing wind,” fulfilling Jesus’ promise when He “breathed on them,” as recorded in John’s Gospel (Chapter 20). This event, which marks the beginning of the Church, is recorded in the book of Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 2. The Holy Spirit gave the apostles gifts of grace through which they would undertake the evangelical mission of the Church. On the day of Pentecost, the apostles were given the miraculous ”gift of tongues” — so that everyone from every country understood the Christians’ inspired message of salvation as if they were hearing it in their own languages. Thousands were converted by the preaching of Saint Peter and the other apostles. The Church was made manifest to the world on the day of Pentecost by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Spirit ushers in a new era in the “dispensation of the mystery” — the Age of the Church, during which Christ manifests, makes present, and communicates His work of salvation through the Liturgy of His Church, “until He comes.” In this age of the Church Christ now lives and acts in and with His Church, in a new way appropriate to this new age. He acts through the Sacraments in what the common Tradition of the East and the West calls “the sacramental economy”; this is the communication (or “dispensation”) of the fruits of Christ’s Paschal mystery in the celebration of the Church’s “sacramental” Liturgy. The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude (or courage), knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. The twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit are charity (or love), joy, peace, patience, benignity (or kindness), goodness, longanimity (or long suffering), mildness, faith, modesty, continency, and chastity.

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