Sunday, May 28, marks Pentecost, the conclusion of the Easter season and the commemoration of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles.
In the Christian tradition, the rejoicing over Christ’s resurrection at Easter lasts 50 days, one South Carolina priest told Fox News Digital, noting that Pentecost “marks the end of the 50-day celebration.”
The name of the holiday “translates literally to 50 days,” said Fr. Jeffrey Kirby, pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Indian Land, South Carolina.
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“At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit falls upon the apostles and Mary in the Upper Room,” Fr. Kirby also said.
“The Holy Spirit comes amidst strong winds and as tongues of fire.”
The tongues, explained Kirby, “symbolize the call to speak and share the Good News of Jesus Christ,” whereas “the fire is representative of the love and zeal that should mark the Christian way of life.”
When a Christian is baptized, he or she “receives their own personal Pentecost,” said Kirby. “The Holy Spirit comes upon them, just as he did upon the apostles and Mary.”
“Each person displays their manifestation of the Holy Spirit differently.”
The personal nature of the Holy Spirit is emphasized by the apostle Paul, who wrote, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good,” (1 Corinthians 12:7) faith leaders note.
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“The Holy Spirit works within our souls to bring forth God’s kingdom of truth, love, reconciliation and hope,” said Fr. Kirby.
“The Spirit manifests himself within each person in a radically unique way, shaping and molding our souls to bring forth the talents and gifts that God has distinctively and singularly given to us.”
Each person displays their manifestation of the Holy Spirit differently, said Kirby, adding that “St. Paul likens this to a human body.”
He continued, “As the body has many members, and each member has a special purpose, so each person within the Body of Christ unveils the action of the Holy Spirit in an unequivocal way and has a specific work to do.”
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“Such work is given only to them and to no other,” he also said. “Each person has their own mission from God. Each person is a link in the broad chain of humanity with their own talents and work to do, for their good and the good of all.”
In his letter to the Corinthians, “St. Paul teaches us that where the spirit is, there is freedom,” said Fr. Kirby.
“When the Spirit is with us, we are free. There are no hindrances or facades. In the Spirit, we can know ourselves, be ourselves and flourishes as ourselves.”
In life, “the Holy Spirit is our teacher and guide along the way,” said Fr. Kirby.
The Holy Spirit “knows us better than we know ourselves, and he leads us along the path of self-discovery and self-donation.”
He added, “The awareness we receive from the Spirit, and the gifts that he pours into our hearts, are gifts to us. The gifts of the Spirit are never only for ourselves.”
With the assistance of the Holy Spirit, humanity is able to “selflessly serve others,” he also said.
“The manifestation of the Spirit is always for some benefit of the common good. The self-possession we have from the Holy Spirit is always directed toward self-donation.”
By offering oneself as a sincere gift to others, one can “fully know and realize the work of the Holy Spirit within,” he noted.
One “cannot hoard the gifts of the Holy Spirit,” he added.
“What we receive, we are called to give.”
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