This Sunday, we celebrate the descension of the Holy Spirit.
What does descension mean?
Descension means the 'coming down' of something from above, or a high place, landing down upon something or someone at a lower place. Picture an Air NZ plane coming down to land on Auckland airport? The plane is said to be descending down to land. It is the similar idea that we are picturing here about the descension of the Holy Spirit - except that this descension is something much more miraculous, or wonderful. This descension comes and brings us gifts - the gifts of grace, which gifts fills us with God's love, which if and when we receive it with our hearts, it would send you and me to do great things for others.
This is why it should be a wonderful celebration for us, as the Holy Spirit does not descend on one or two, or twelve people, but Jesus sends down the Holy Spirit to descend on everyone. Therefore no one is left out, and no one must be left out.
So today, the Holy Spirit comes down from heaven (the high place) and dwells or lands (the lower place) on the heads of Mary, the Mother of Jesus and all the Apostles.
How can we see this? In the picture below, have a look at the 'tongues of fire' landed on Mary and the Apostles heads. The picture exactly shows that it is the Holy Spirit, in the form of fire, which had descended, and landed on their heads.
So how should we celebrate the descension of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is not coming down on me, so why should I celebrate it?
Well, today, we are celebrating about that time when the Holy Spirit came down upon the heads of Mary and the Apostles in that upper room. It is the time when the Church was born, when the Holy Spirit came down on Jesus' apostles heads. It was through the Holy Spirit that Peter, Mary and the rest of the apostles were able to go out and conducted their missionary work of charity and prayer, spreading the Good News of Jesus to everyone. It was started by Mary and the Apostles from that day. So it is that day that we are celebrating as it is the birthday of the Church. So it is a joyful time for the Church and why we should celebrate.
I still don't get it? Why should I celebrate it? It is just like our birthday parties that we have every year. Although we are born naturally once in a lifetime by our mum, so why should we celebrate our birthday's every year? Why is it a big deal for us? Well, we want to celebrate that memorable time when we first arrived into this world, so we celebrate this big day. It is a day every year that we receive gifts from our parents, or families.
It is for this very same reason that the Church celebrates its birthday today, and guess what? The Church is you and I - the Church is not the building where we go to for the Mass. The Church is a human person, a living human person alive in us everyday, and so the birthday belongs to us, and so why we must celebrate our birthday! So we can say that we have two birthdays every year. And on these two birthdays, we all receive gifts.
Watch this video about the descension of the Holy Spirit
We will honor the Holy Spirit; we will be honoring Mary and all Christians who have taken seriously the work of the Holy Spirit after the example of Mary.
have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?