Leviticus 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34B-37
The LORD said to Moses, “These are the festivals of the LORD which you shall celebrate at their proper time with a sacred assembly.
These festivals are the equivalent of our Holy Days of obligation because the Jews were obliged to celebrate these Feasts.
The Passover of the LORD falls on the fourteenth day of the first month, at the evening twilight.
The Passover is called the Pasch all over the world. Except in English speaking countries, where it it called Easter. Easter is the Festival equivalent of the Passover.
The fifteenth day of this month is the LORD’s feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first of these days you shall hold a sacred assembly and do no sort of work. On each of the seven days you shall offer an oblation to the LORD. Then on the seventh day you shall again hold a sacred assembly and do no sort of work.”
The octave of the Passover is the mirror of the octave of Easter. The Passover culminates in the Passover supper. Whereas, the octave of Easter begins on Easter Sunday and celebrated for eight days.
They prepared for Passover by eating unleavened bread for 7 days. We prepare for Easter by eating bread during Lent for forty days. We then celebrate the season of Easter for another forty days.
Their Passover was celebrated once a year. Our Passover is celebrated everyday. Our Mass is the equivalent of the Passover Supper wherein the Passover sacrifice was consumed with unleavened and bitter herbs. In the Mass, during the Eucharist, we consume the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world, Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity.
The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the children of Israel and tell them: When you come into the land which I am giving you, and reap your harvest, you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest, who shall wave the sheaf before the LORD that it may be acceptable for you. On the day after the sabbath the priest shall do this.
First fruits is very interesting and it is amazing to me, how God tied every single strand together when He established the New Covenant. Jesus Christ, when He died on the cross and laid in the tomb for three days, rose on the day of First Fruits. He died on Good Friday, Saturday was the Passover and Sunday was the Festival of First Fruits. This is why Jesus is called the first fruits:
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
“Beginning with the day after the sabbath, the day on which you bring the wave-offering sheaf, you shall count seven full weeks, and then on the day after the seventh week, the fiftieth day, you shall present the new cereal offering to the LORD.
And this is the day of Pentecost. This day completes the day of First Fruits by taking the sheafs of grain which were gathered from the field and processing them into nutritious cereal which can be consumed in a meal. This cereal is then offered unto God.
Pentecost is the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Church. It is when the Church was confirmed by the Holy Spirit and began its mission in the world.
Our Pentecost is also the basis for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Baptism symbolizes our dying and rising with Christ:
Romans 6:4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
In that sense, Baptism symbolizes the day of first fruits in our lives. Confirmation is the day we are sealed by the Holy Spirit and is the equivalent of the the day that the Church, the Body of Christ, was sealed by the Holy Spirit, the Day of Pentecost.
“The tenth of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement, when you shall hold a sacred assembly and mortify yourselves and offer an oblation to the LORD.
The day of Atonement, in my opinion, is the Jewish equivalent of our season of Lent. The two festivals are not close to each other in time.
“The fifteenth day of this seventh month is the LORD’s feast of Booths, which shall continue for seven days. On the first day there shall be a sacred assembly, and you shall do no sort of work. For seven days you shall offer an oblation to the LORD, and on the eighth day you shall again hold a sacred assembly and offer an oblation to the LORD. On that solemn closing you shall do no sort of work.
The feast of Booths was fulfilled by Christ and the Church He established. We live in the permanent dwelling of Christ when we become members of the body of Christ:
Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
I think this is why we have no official Christian equivalent of this Jewish feast. Because those of us who are baptized have shed our temporary and have taken up dwelling in the Body of Christ, the eternal city, the Church, the Kingdom of God.
So, although there is no official celebration of our temporary dwelling. We do celebrate our entry into the eternal dwelling when we celebrate all Souls day and all Saints Day and every time we celebrate the feast day of a Saint.
“These, therefore, are the festivals of the LORD on which you shall proclaim a sacred assembly, and offer as an oblation to the LORD burnt offerings and cereal offerings, sacrifices and libations, as prescribed for each day.”
And we celebrate all our Holy Days by participating in the Mass, the holy gathering of the people of God.