When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together…They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. (Acts 2)
The Feast of Pentecost was already a Jewish feast, but it “got baptized” by the Holy Spirit and fire! Indeed, the descent of the Holy Spirit completes the fulfillment of the promises of God to the Jewish people, a fulfillment that included Jesus’ birth, life, death and Resurrection.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, the disciples were able to speak in tongues: they were able to speak the Word of God to a mixed crowd of onlookers and somehow people of many languages and cultures were able to understand them.
The Holy Spirit was the force of unity, truth, and love in the early days after Jesus’ Ascension. The same Spirit is still working today, through the Church, as a source of unity, truth and love. The Spirit works through the leadership of the Church (the Pope and Bishops in union with him, and the pastors/priests of the Church) to bring God’s Word of truth: the truths God wanted known as necessary for our salvation. The Spirit works also through each one of us, inspiring us with new ways (new languages) to speak the truth of God in a way that is meaningful and relevant to people of our day. Only if we as the Church are able and willing to speak in new languages will the people of our day have a chance to really understand it “in their language” and hopefully embrace it and find the fullness of life in Christ. Pope Francis is constantly at work, leading the Church into the fullness of life in the Spirit, and trying to bring that life to nonbelievers as well.
May our Diocese, our parish, and each of us be inspired by the Spirit to bring the good news of God’s love, truth and life in a “language” they can understand!