Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up
The Jewish feast of Shavuot is celebrated seven weeks after Easter, on the “fiftieth day” (this is the meaning of the term “Pentecost”), a number indicating fullness (7 x 7 + 1) and the beginning of the time of “fulfillment”. Pentecost is the feast of the first fruits, harvest and joy, it became a memorial of the gift of the Torah to Sinai and of the renewal of the covenant between God and the people of Israel. Being a pilgrimage feast, it sees the gathering of people from all over in Jerusalem, which explains the universal origin of the crowd when the Holy Spirit pours out on the first Christian community gathered in the Upper Room. In Christian history, Pentecost is considered as the day on which the Church is born, which receives the first fruits of the Spirit and launches itself into the “harvest” of the world witnessing to the living presence of Christ, the Gospel written in the heart of every believer. Let us rediscover the background of this great celebration by listening to the explanation given by Fr. Francesco Voltaggio, rector of the Seminary “Domus Galilaeae” in the Holy Land.
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