Pentecost: A Stewardship Feast to Celebrate

A challenge for the Christian steward is accepting, and
even rejoicing in, the fact that our commitment to faith
is often a counter-cultural one. Perhaps this is nowhere
more striking than in the quick cultural “end” of the
Easter season, and our own belief that Easter is leading us
through May to the great feast of Pentecost on May 28.
We see this discordance in many Christian
celebrations adapted by the popular, commercial
culture. While we are still enjoying the season of
Christmas and looking forward to Epiphany, most
American homes have taken the Christmas tree to the
recycling center and moved on to thoughts of Valentine’s
Day. During the sacrificial early days of Lent, there’s
something jarring – yes, just wrong – about all those
pastel Easter eggs and bunnies appearing in stores. And
all that chocolate!

So, as Christian stewards, we feel no surprise that as
we break our Easter fast and begin our meditation on the
Resurrection, we find that the stores have tucked those
chocolate bunnies away on discount shelves, and we’re
off to the next commercially competitive venture. And
as the great feast of Pentecost beckons us, we realize
that the society around us gives this occasion hardly a
passing nod. Apparently, there’s no money to be made
from Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit came among the
apostles and imbued in them the courage to be true followers of Christ. Courage,
strength, faith, the Spirit – these are hard to market in the public square, aren’t
they? The willingness to live and ultimately to die as martyrs for Christ, as the
apostles did, these are things that are hard to package in bright paper. They don’t
fit well in the greeting card aisle.

Perhaps during these days of May when we as Catholic stewards continue to
celebrate the season of Easter and look forward to Pentecost, we might examine
our own willingness to step outside the culture in our celebration of great
Christian feast days. Keep the reminders of the Resurrection around you. Let your
family prayer reflect the marvels of the season. Help your children to be aware
of the liturgical calendar. Explain to them the meaning of the changing colors of
the priests’ vestments. Dress up in red for Pentecost Sunday. But most importantly,
educate yourself and your family on how powerful it is to understand and
celebrate the great markers and mysteries of our shared faith experience.