Pentecost instituted age of the Church

Published: May 30, 2017

En Español

Pentecost concludes the Easter Season, which leads into Ordinary Time. It is considered the birthday of the Church, for it was on this day, that the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and filled them with the gifts they needed to lead the Church. This event took place 10 days after Jesus ascended into heaven and promised the coming of the Advocate. This year, Pentecost Sunday is celebrated June 4.

"When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim." (Acts 2:1-4)

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pentecost instituted the "age of the Church, during which Christ manifests, makes present, and communicates his work of salvation through the liturgy of his Church, 'until he comes.'

"In this age of the Church, Christ now lives and acts in and with his Church, in a new way appropriate to this new age. He acts through the sacraments in what the common Tradition of the East and the West calls 'the sacramental economy;' this is the communication (or 'dispensation) of the fruits of Christ's paschal mystery in the celebration of the Church's 'sacramental' liturgy." (no. 1076).