Editorial | On Pentecost, Holy Spirit’s descent transforms the extraordinary to Ordinary Time

A mosaic in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis depicts a scene from Pentecost.

Just before the Liturgical calendar turns back to Ordinary Time, we celebrate an extraordinary event: Pentecost.

On the first Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came into the world, descending upon the apostles 50 days after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and 10 days after His bodily Ascension into heaven. The Catholic Church traces its history to Pentecost, with Peter as our first pope.

Pentecost is celebration of unity in diversity

VATICAN CITY — The Holy Spirit continues to give Christians different gifts and to call them to share those gifts with each other in a community marked by forgiveness and "unity in diversity," Pope Francis said on Pentecost.

"In a way both creative and unexpected," the pope said, the Holy Spirit "generates diversity, for in every age He causes new and varied charisms to blossom. Then He brings about unity: He joins together, gathers and restores harmony."

DEAR FATHER | Scriptures, legends shine light on where first apostles shared the Gospel

Before His ascension, Jesus told His apostles, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). While these words were meant for the whole Church, the apostles were the first to embrace them. They traveled, sometimes great distances, to preach the Gospel. All but one of the apostles were martyred for their belief in Christ and proclaiming Him to others.

With that, let us look at what the apostles did after Pentecost:

BRIMMING WITH HOPE | Mortarboards and tongues of fire

Kurt Nelson

Last weekend the Church celebrated Pentecost. This feast commemorates the occasion of the Holy Spirit descending on the apostles in the form of tongues of fire — therefore red is the liturgical color for the day. So you can imagine that the seniors participating in Bishop DuBourg High School's Baccalaureate Mass on this year's Feast of Pentecost were an impressive sight at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in their red and white graduation robes.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Move on with a renewed attitude, energy

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson was the guest speaker at St. Louis Young Adult’s Theology on Tap May 10 at Kirkwood Brewing Station. He took time to visit with the audience.

The transition to Ordinary Time is one of the most stunning transitions we Catholics make. We've been basking in the glory of the Easter season for 50 days. It's Pentecost, and we're celebrating the gifts of the Spirit. Then we wake up the next day and it's "Ordinary Time." That can seem like such a letdown.

But if we take it as a letdown, we miss the point: Receiving the Holy Spirit — being filled with Jesus' own life — is supposed to become the fundamental pattern of everyday life.

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Pentecost unleashes the Holy Spirit on the whole Church

Jesus' gift of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles on Easter Sunday night was the beginning of a worldwide revolution to lead His faithful followers to eternal glory. On that night, Jesus unleashed upon the apostles, and eventually the whole world, the fruits of His passion, death and Resurrection. He unleashed God's awesome power of love to confront man's sinfulness and the forces of hell.

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