The Feast of Pentecost occurs on the same day as the Jewish Feast of Weeks, which they call today Shavuot. This is no mistake. Allowing for various adjustments to the calendars over the years Easter occurs on the Jewish feast of Passover and their Feast of Weeks takes place fifty days later. Pentecost literally meaning fifty days also occurs fifty days after Easter and therefore on the same day as the Feast of Weeks.
The Bishop of Rochester, John Fisher, on the morning of his execution, was led from his dungeon out to Tower Green. The cortège paused for a moment at the door of the Tower, so that responsibility for the prisoner could be handed over from the governor to the sheriff. Fisher produced his pocket bible and read from John 17:3: ‘This is eternal life, that they should know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.’ He put the book away and said most profoundly, ‘This contains enough doctrine to last me for the rest of my life.’
What wonderful soothing words Jesus speaks to his disciples: I will not leave you orphans. I won't let you down, I won't go away never to return. No, I will be with you. Thus, we move forward in our consideration of the Easter Mystery. We move from the contemplation of Christ's appearances after the resurrection over the last few Sundays to a meditation on the continued presence of Christ in the Church through the Holy Spirit.
Father Alex McAllister SDS
Parish Priest of
St Thomas à Becket