Pentecost, like Easter, is a moveable feast. Pentecost is dependent upon Easter. While Easter falls on the first Sunday after the March Equinox of March 21, Pentecost Sunday occurs fifty days after Easter Sunday. Confused? Don’t be.
On March 21, check the lunar cycle. The next full moon is the starting point. If that happens to occur on a Sunday, the following Sunday is Easter. Any other day of the week, and the following Sunday is Easter. From that point, count forward 40 days. You have arrived at Ascension Thursday. Ten more days, and it’s Pentecost, fifty days after Easter. For Catholics, and a growing number of other Christian denominations, once you’ve calculated Easter, you count backward 40 days (excluding Sundays) to arrive at Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Season. I know, that’s a lot of math. Thank goodness for calendars that display religious holidays.
I could go on to talk about the connections between the Christian calendar and the Jewish calendar. It only makes sense since Christ was a Jew, His earliest followers were Jewish, and their Holy Days revolved around the Jewish Faith. Personally, I feel a kindred spirit with the Chosen People. If you look, you will find that the major faiths of the world have more in common than in opposition. This common ground gives us stepping stones to connect with one another.
So why is Pentecost so important? For believers, Pentecost Sunday marks the arrival of the Third Person of the Trinity. The Old Testament is an introduction to the first person, God. The New Testament teaches us about the second person, Christ. And when He ascends into Heaven, the third person within the Trinity descends upon mankind, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is both our physical and spiritual connection to the Father and the Son.
Pentecost Sunday also marks the return to “Ordinary Times” within the celebration of the Catholic Mass. Sundays should be celebrated. Once upon a time Sundays were set aside for family. You don’t need to be a believer to appreciate the importance of family ties. Family is more than just those who are of our flesh. Family is love. Love binds us all together.
Wishing you all a wonderful day this Pentecost Sunday.
Slow-Cooked Smothered Chicken with Peas
4 boneless Chicken Thighs
1/4 cup Chicken Stock
1 (8 oz) container Chive and Onion Cream Cheese
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
6 slices Bacon
1 cup frozen Young Peas
1/4 cup Sour Cream
2 cups Egg Noodles
Spray bottom of 3- to 4-quart slow cooker or insert of an Instant Pot with cooking spray. Add chicken thighs to the pot.
In small microwavable bowl, mix chicken stock, cream cheese spread, salt and pepper. Microwave uncovered on High 1 minute; beat with whisk until smooth. Pour mixture on top of chicken thighs. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 3 hours.
Meanwhile, slice bacon, fry bacon crisp in a skillet over medium heat. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and set aside,
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Maintain boil until ready to cook egg noodles.
After 3 hours of cooking time, stir the bacon and the frozen sweet peas into chicken mixture; mix well. Increase heat setting to High; cover and cook for 15 minutes minutes longer.
While the peas heat through, cook the egg noodles in the pot of boiling water. Drain well and keep warm for serving. To serve, plate the noodles. Ladle chicken over pasta, serve and enjoy.