By Christina Hermoso
A Catholic Church leader has called on Catholics to “be ready to defend your faith” as the Church marks Pentecost Sunday tomorrow (June 9), marking the end of the Easter season.
Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani, Jr said, Pentecost is a reminder that Christ’s followers have been provided with the necessary courage to speak out against anyone who attacks the Church.
“We can say a lot of things about Pentecost but I would like to highlight the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles that provided them with the necessary courage to spread the Good News,” Bacani said over Church-run Radio Veritas.
“I call on every Filipino to take courage for that is the gift of the Holy Spirit. Be bold in spreading the Good News and in defending the Word of God,” Bacani added.
The prelate, likewise, encouraged the faithful to make a stand against attacks made against the Catholic Church.
“Do not remain silent when the Church and her teachings are attacked. Make a stand,” Bacani stressed,
Roman Catholics officially mark the end of the Easter Season tomorrow, Pentecost Sunday, 50 days after the resurrection of Christ.
Also known as the Feast of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost Sunday commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus Christ as He had promised.
In Holy Masses tomorrow, Church rites will include the recitation of special prayers and the Litany to the Holy Spirit, prayers for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit. Red vestments will be worn by the clergy “to symbolize God’s burning love for mankind and the supreme power of the Holy Ghost.”
Mass readings will focus on the events of Pentecost, which took place in a house in Jerusalem, where the Last Supper was held. Witnessed by the Blessed Mother and other loyal followers of Jesus, He blessed His apostles and bestowed on them the gift of the Holy Spirit. He said, “Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive are forgiven, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
In Rome, Italy, the Holy Father Pope Francis will celebrate the traditional Mass of Priestly Ordination in recognition of the apostolic succession – from the apostles to the priests who have been tasked by God to undertake the evangelical mission of the Church to spread the Word of God.
Also called the birthday of the Catholic Church, “Pentecost is a powerful feast of salvation, a day to celebrate hope that God, through His Holy Spirit, is at work among His people. It is a celebration of newness, of renewal, of purpose, mission, and calling as God’s people. It signifies the extension of the Divine Body of Christ in all believers,” Church leaders said.