Pentecost: My “Back to Church” Anniversary
How a reflection on Pentecost turned into a deeper understanding of the Holy Trinity
Initiated on June 5, 2022, Pentecost Sunday
Pentecost Sunday in the liturgical calendar marks 50 days after Easter Sunday and closes out the Easter season . It is an important day for Christian believers. It is often referred to as the “birthday of the church”.
On a personal level, Pentecost Sunday is a particular day of commemoration for me. It marks the date when I returned, and got closer to my Catholic faith. Looking back, my return was not just a coincidence. I am convinced that my attending mass on that not so distant date, was a manifestation of the power of the Holy spirit, an example of God’s care for little old me, a perpetual sinner.
Let me share some thoughts with you about my personal and theological understanding that makes this Sunday Pentecost a super special time. I consider it a spiritual date with God, that year after year. It is a date that I look forward to and for which I am extremely grateful.
The gospel of John tells us that on that day, Jesus rejoins the disciples who were gathered in a small room, perhaps a dark one, with doors locked, perhaps a simple, windowless space, a place for hiding and self protection. Jesus reappears to the disciples and gives them the extraordinary gift of the Holy Spirit .
21 [Jesus] said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit.”
Gospel of John: 20:21–22
But does it mean to give such a gift? The Holy Spirit is not a material entity. It is the third person of the Holy Trinity, a key belief of the Catholic faith and of many other Christian denominations. The Nicene creed  helps us proclaim our belief in our triune God. God exists in three, coequal, coeternal consubstantial divine persons that share one essence. For the non-believer the concept of the Trinity is hard to grasp, may even appear as a statement of polytheism. But it is also hard for believers to fully understand.