Here’s a picture from a few summers ago when I traveled to Rome to study with gentlemen preparing for the priesthood of Jesus Christ. It was such a memorable time in my life which I cherish to this day. It was a time to connect with family roots as Church. In Rome, we touched, saw with our eyes, studied, and prayed at the very places where saints were made. Going to Rome was a reminder of how rich the family story truly is. All of it began with Pentecost.
By the time Luke wrote his account, Pentecost was the term used fifty days after Passover. It is the ancient Greek word which means fiftieth day. Several things are worth noting on the fiftieth day after Passover.
- On the feast of Shavuot, the story of Ruth was recalled. It was believed to be the day that Ruth was born and had died. Ruth’s story is a story of conversion to Judaism. She enters faithfully to her new Jewish family.
- On the feast of Shavuot the book of Deuteronomy tells the story of the first fruits known in Hebrew as bikkurim (cf. Deut. 8:7-10). During this harvest, seven fruits of the land were given: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates.
- On this festival, the Jewish people commemorate the giving of the law. Three thousand souls were lost for disobeying God by erecting a false idol during the time of Moses.
This feast is the fulfillment of all God’s promise. The Apostles call people to conversion as they receive the gift to speak to all the devout Jews gathered in Jerusalem on Shavuot. We receive the same Advocate, yet different gifts. Gifts that infuse us for Christian discipleship in our time. May we be receptive to such gifts in order to live in the joy which Christ has called us to live.
Recently, I viewed this video with the First Year Confirmation Students and felt it was a simple a light hearted approach to explaining Pentecost. Enjoy!