In the Old Testament, Pentecost was theharvest festival Shavuot. It takes place 50 days after Passover and GreekJews gave it the name Pentecost. This festival celebrated the harvest, no one wasto work and celebrate the blessings of God.
Jewish people believe that Pentecost celebratesGod giving Moses the Ten Commandmentsand is the birth of Judaism and Jewish Law.
In Jewish tradition, all Jews should travel to theHoly Land to celebrate Pentecost. The sevenfirst fruits: wheat, barley, grapes, figs,pomegranates, olives, and dates were to bepresented at the Temple in Jerusalem inthanksgiving for God’s gifts.
In ancient Israel, Jewish farmers would tie areed around the first ripening fruits from eachof these species in their fields. At the time ofharvest, the fruits with the reed would be cutand placed in baskets of gold and silver. Thebaskets would be loaded on oxen whose hornswere gilded and laced with garlands offlowers, and led in procession to Jerusalem. Asthey passed through cities and towns, theywould be accompanied by music and parades.
It was this holiday that the Disciples werecelebrating when they were in the “UpperRoom” 50 days following Easter.
And suddenly there camea sound from heaven as ofa rushing mighty wind,and it filled all the housewhere they were sitting.And there appeared untothem cloven tongues likeas of fire, and it sat uponeach of them. And theywere all filled with theHoly Spirit, and began tospeak with otherlanguages, as the Spiritgave them utterance.
And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews,devout men, out of every nation under heaven.Now when this was noised abroad, themultitude came together, and wereconfounded, because that every man heardthem speak in his own language.
The Holy Spirit had come upon the apostlesand given them charis or grace to make themthe first priests to spread His teachings.
This event is considered the birth of theCatholic Church. The ability of the disciples tospeak in all languages and be understood madethem ready to convert all to Christ. Catholic means universal in Greek, the HolySpirit’s gift of the ability to preach Christ’sword made the church truly universal.