Pentecost Sunday (also called Whit Sunday) is the 50th day after Easter Sunday. The date each year depends on Easter Sunday; hence it is a moveable feast, that is, the date in not fixed. This year we celebrate it on Sunday, 19th of May.

On Pentecost Sunday, the Church celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on Mary, the Mother of Jesus, on the Apostles and other disciples, after the Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ. The two signs of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost were (a) the sound of strong rushing wind that filled the whole house and (b) tongues as if of fire which parted and came to rest upon each of them. Filled with the Holy Spirit they began to speak other languages as the Spirit enabled them to speak. This marked the beginning of the Christian Church’s mission to proclaim Jesus to the world.

In the early Church, Baptism was administered at the beginning that is at Easter and at the end, that is the day of Pentecost, of the Paschal season. It was called Whit Sunday for the special white garments worn by the newly baptized. Priests often wear red vestments to symbolize the “tongues of fire” that descended on the disciples from the Holy Spirit. The altar is commonly dressed in a red frontal cloth.

Pentecost is the gift of the Holy spirit given to the entire church. Pope Francis has called the Holy Spirit “the Soul of the Church”.

The Holy Spirit gives us the strength to live our faith.

The Holy spirit is one of the three persons of the Holy Trinity (the Father, Son & Holy Spirit) whose role is to guide us into the truth, helping us to enter into a deeper communion with Jesus. No one can say “Jesus is the Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy spirit is one of the most important ways in which Jesus fulfills His promise to remain with us until the end of time.

The Holy Spirit is the connection between the believer and God.

The Holy Spirit makes it possible for God to dwell in our hearts. It should give us great confidence to know that God the Holy Spirit is at our side.

St. Paul says, that in the Holy Spirit we “live, move and have our being”.

The Holy Spirit fills us up; without the Holy Spirit we are hollow.

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord.

Our moral and spiritual life is sustained by these Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

a) LOVE is, always seeking the good of others.

b) JOY is the profound delight and rejoicing that comes from knowing and serving God.

c) PEACE is an unshakeable inner calm that can be a rare quality in turbulent times.

d) PATIENCE – the Holy Spirit has never – ending supply of patience to fill the Christian’s heart at those times when it is needed most.

e) KINDNESS is the natural result of Love. When Holy Spirit begins to develop love in a person’s heart, not only kindness but compassion and forgiveness follow (also goodness, patience and gentleness).

f) GOODNESS means living one’s life with good morals and motives as well as doing good things for others. It is a mark of Godliness.

g) FAITHFULNESS means being loyal, trustworthy, dependable. God expects his disciples to be unwavering in their faithfulness to Him as well as to the People in their lives.

h) GENTLENESS is the ability to choose to use a gentle word, when unkind words and manners are the typical first response. It is the true reflection of Jesus and the Kingdom of God.

i) SELF CONTROL is the power of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives to help us to identify our sinfulness & weakness and overcome them by saying NO to sin.

We are never alone, because throughout each day the Holy Spirit is inside of us. We pray and are at a loss for words. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us and brings our worries, sufferings and pain before the Father. The Holy Spirit is our comforter and Jesus gifted us with the Holy Spirit to complete the work He has given us to do, that is, to love Jesus, draw closer to Him, to come alive and witness Jesus to others as the disciples did on the day of Pentecost.

J. Rodrigues