Today the Easter season ends with the celebration of Pentecost. The Catholic Church celebrates this feast fifty days after Easter, reflecting Luke’s account of the first Pentecost that we hear in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles. But the gospel reading, from John, sets the first Pentecost at the end of the day of Jesus’s resurrection, demonstrating the close connection between these events. Today’s reflection will explore Luke’s and John’s different accounts of the first Pentecost.
The second reading, from the First Letter to the Corinthians, is part of Paul’s effort to rein in the enthusiasm of that new Christian community—what one commentator calls the Corinthians’ “over-realized eschatology.” Paul asserts that the gifts of the Holy Spirit should not be a source of pride or the basis for claims to superiority; the Spirit’s gifts are meant to unify the community in service to others.
This Sunday’s readings can be found on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website.