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Engaging the Word: Pentecost

Pentecost is sometimes called the birthday of the Church. Before he ascended into heaven, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide and protect the Church. On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit arrived, as we read about in the Acts of the Apostles.

The gift of the Holy Spirit enabled the Apostles to accomplish the amazing work they did. Even though most of the apostles were simple and uneducated men, they managed to plant the seeds of the Catholic faith throughout the Roman Empire and beyond. Most of them were killed in the process. If the Catholic Church were merely a human institution, there is no way it could have overcome the obstacles it did. Only the active presence of the Holy Spirit has enabled the Church to carry out Jesus’ work for so many years. As St. Paul says to the Corinthians, “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.”

Paul goes on to point out how this one Spirit enables the Church to work like a body, made up of many parts, each with its own mission. Each of us has a role to play to build up the Church on earth, and we should pray to the Holy Spirit to guide us in our mission.


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