Pentecost - The Descent of the Holy Spirit
Third Glorious Mystery of the Rosary

Rosary Mysteries - Pentecost
Pentecost - Giovanni Lanfranco - 1631

Introduction

The third Glorious Mystery of the Rosary is Pentecost, a momentous event in Christianity. Pentecost occurred 50 days after Easter, when the apostles and followers of Jesus were gathered in one place. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit descended upon them in the form of tongues of fire, empowering them with divine inspiration and understanding.

The importance of Pentecost lies in its role as the birth of the Christian Church. The apostles, who were initially fearful and uncertain, were transformed into bold and articulate messengers. They spoke in different languages, breaking down barriers and enabling them to communicate the message of Jesus to people from various regions.

Pentecost is significant because it marks the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit. This divine encounter empowered the apostles to spread the teachings of Christ, leading to the conversion of thousands. The event symbolizes unity, understanding, and the universal nature of Christianity, emphasizing the spiritual connection among believers.

In essence, Pentecost symbolizes the beginning of a new era for the followers of Jesus, as they were endowed with the Holy Spirit, guiding them in their mission to share the message of love, forgiveness, and salvation with the world.

Scriptures of the Pentecost

Acts 2:1-21

And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: and suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak.

Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. And they were all amazed, and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these, that speak, Galileans? And how have we heard, every man our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all astonished, and wondered, saying one to another: What meaneth this?

But others mocking, said: These men are full of new wine. But Peter standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spoke to them: Ye men of Judea, and all you that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known to you, and with your ears receive my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day: But this is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel: and it shall come to pass, in the last days, (saith the Lord,) I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And upon my servants indeed, and upon my handmaids will I pour out in those days of my spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will shew wonders in the heaven above, and signs on the earth beneath: blood and fire, and vapour of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and manifest day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.

Scripture Commentary

Pentecost - Glorious Mysteries
Pentecost - Jean Restout - 1732

Acts 2:1-21 recounts the significant and transformative event of Pentecost, a key moment in Christian history. The passage begins with the apostles gathered in one place on the day of Pentecost. Suddenly, there is a remarkable manifestation of the Holy Spirit—symbolized by a sound like a rushing wind and the appearance of tongues of fire above each apostle. This divine encounter fills them with the Holy Spirit, empowering them for their mission.

The apostles, now endowed with the ability to speak in various languages, step out and address the diverse crowd in Jerusalem. This is particularly noteworthy because people from different regions, speaking different languages, were present in the city for the Pentecost festival. The apostles’ ability to communicate in these varied languages demonstrates the universal nature of the message they were about to share.

The reaction to this phenomenon is mixed. Some observers are amazed by the miraculous occurrence, recognizing the significance of the moment. However, others, perhaps perplexed or skeptical, dismiss the apostles as being under the influence of alcohol.

Peter, taking a central role, stands up to address the crowd and clarify the situation. He explains that what they are witnessing is the fulfillment of the prophecy spoken by the prophet Joel. Peter seizes the opportunity to preach about Jesus, emphasizing key aspects of his life, death, resurrection, and ascension. He calls on the people to repent, be baptized in the name of Jesus, and receive the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The outcome is profound—about three thousand people respond to Peter’s message, believing in Jesus and getting baptized. This marks the birth of the early Christian community and underscores the transformative power of the Holy Spirit in spreading the Gospel.

In summary, Acts 2:1-21 captures the awe-inspiring event of Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit descends, enabling the apostles to communicate across language barriers and leading to the rapid growth of the Christian community through Peter’s impactful preaching.

Feast Day of Pentecost

Pentecost is celebrated in the Christian liturgical calendar 50 days after Easter Sunday. The word “Pentecost” comes from the Greek word “pentēkostē,” meaning “fiftieth.” The feast commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and other followers of Jesus, as narrated in the Book of Acts (Acts 2:1-41).

Pentecost is often considered the “birthday” of the Christian Church because it marks the empowering of the disciples with the Holy Spirit, allowing them to go forth and spread the message of Jesus. The feast is characterized by various symbols, including the flames of fire and the speaking in different languages (tongues). Pentecost is a joyous celebration in many Christian traditions, signifying the transformative and unifying work of the Holy Spirit.

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Last Publish:  January 28. 2024

 

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