Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday is the first Sunday after Pentecost in the Western Christian liturgical calendar, and the Sunday of Pentecost in Eastern Christianity. Trinity Sunday celebrates the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, the three persons of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The "Hospitality of Abraham" by Andr...

The “Hospitality of Abraham” by Andrei Rublev. The three angels symbolize the Trinity, which is rarely depicted directly in art. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Baptism of Our Lord

Baptism of Christ. Jesus is baptized in the Jo...

Baptism of Christ. Jesus is baptized in the Jordan River by John. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. This brings to an end the season of Christmas. The Church recalls Our Lord’s second manifestation or epiphany which occurred on the occasion of His baptism in the Jordan. In the Eastern Church this feast is called Theophany because at the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan God appeared in three persons. Many of the incidents which accompanied Christ’s baptism are symbolical of what happened at our Baptism. At Christ’s baptism the the Holy Spirit descended upon Him; at our Baptism the Trinity took its abode in our soul. At His baptism Christ was proclaimed the “Beloved Son” of the Father; at our Baptism we become the adopted sons of God. At Christ’s baptism the heavens were opened; at our Baptism heaven was opened to us. At His baptism Jesus prayed; after our Baptism we must pray to avoid actual sin.

Ascension Day

English: Ascension of Christ

English: Ascension of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Ascension of Jesus (anglicized from the Vulgate Latin (Acts 1:9-11 section title Ascensio Iesu) is the Christian teaching found in the New Testament that the resurrected Jesus was taken up to Heaven in his resurrected body, in the presence of eleven of his apostles, occurring 40 days after the resurrection. In the biblical narrative, an angel tells the watching disciples that Jesus’ second coming will take place in the same manner as his resurrection.

The canonical gospels include two brief descriptions of the ascension of Jesus in Luke 24:50-53 and Mark 16:19. A more detailed account of Jesus’ bodily Ascension into the clouds is then given in the Acts of The Apostles (1:9-11).

The ascension of Jesus is professed in the Nicene Creed and in the Apostles’ Creed. The ascension implies Jesus’ humanity being taken into heaven. The Feast of the Ascension, celebrated on the 40th day of Easter (always a Thursday), is one of the chief feasts of the Christian year. The feast dates back at least to the later 4th century, as is widely attested. The ascension is one of the five major milestones in the Gospel narrative of the life of Jesus, the others being baptism, transfiguration, crucifixion, and resurrection.

By the 6th century the iconography of the ascension is Christian art had been established and by the 9th century ascension scenes were being depicted on domes of churches. Many ascension scenes have two parts, an upper (Heavenly) part and a lower (earthly) part. The ascending Jesus is often shown blessing with his right hand – directed towards the earthly group below him and signifying that he is blessing the entire church.

Saint Mark

English: the first of the Epistles to the Colo...

English: the first of the Epistles to the Colossians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Book of Acts mentions a Mark, or John Mark, a kinsman of Barnabas (Col 4:10). The house of his mother Mary was a meeting place for Christians in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). When Paul and Barnabas, who had been in Antioch, came to Jerusalem, they brought Mark back to Antioch with them (12:25), and he accompanied them on their first missionary journey (13:5), but left them prematurely and returned to Jerusalem (13:13). When Paul and Barnabas were about to set out on a second missionary journey, Barnabas proposed to take Mark, but Paul thought him unreliable, so that eventually Barnabas made one journey taking Mark, and Paul another journey taking Silas (15:36-40). Mark is not mentioned again in Acts. However, it appears that he became more reliable, for Paul mentions him as a trusted assistant in Colossians 4:10 and again in 2 Timothy 4:11. Tradition has it that after the death of Peter, Mark left Rome and went to preach in Alexandria, Egypt, where he was eventually martyred.

Ascension Day

English: Ascension of Christ

English: Ascension of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ascension Day celebrates Jesus’ ascension to heaven after he was resurrected on Easter Day. On Good Friday, Jesus died on the cross. On Easter Sunday, the tomb was found empty. During the forty days which followed that first Easter, Jesus kept appearing to his followers. Ascension Day marks the last appearance of Jesus to the disciples after his resurrection at Easter. The name ‘ascension’ comes from the accounts in the Bible in Mark’s Gospel and Luke’s Gospel that tell of Jesus being taken up into heaven – he ascended. Jesus told his disciples that he would always be with them, and promised them the gift of the Holy Spirit (at Pentecost).

Ascension Day is the 40th day after Easter Sunday and always falls on a Thursday (hence its other name Holy Thursday). It marks the end of Rogation tide.”

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