Voce mea ad Dominum

Random thoughts from an amateur theologist.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Divine Wind

And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. - Acts 2:2-4

The day of Pentecost points my mind to a couple of Old Testament subjects, the divine wind of Genesis 1:1 and the tower of Babel of Genesis 11.

The spirit of the Lord, the "mighty wind" which hovered over the waters is the same wind that rushed into the upper room where the disciples and Our Lady were gathered. As the divine wind brought order to the chaos of the primordial universe heralding the new creation, so the mighty wind at Pentecost brought power and courage to the apostles which heralded the creation of the Church, the new Jerusalem and the renewal of a fallen creation through the promise of Christ.

The disciples were filled with the spirit which enabled them to speak in languages unknown to them creating an image of the church as Catholic, one which embraces all time, languages, peoples, and cultures. That image of the Church is fulfilled today since the body of Christ, the universal Church united in faith proclaims the same faith in numerous languages.

Pentecost was a restoration of the world order prior to the tower of Babel where all peoples spoke one language. The problem back then was that in our fallen state, we took advantage of that single language in order to build a name for ourselves (signified as the tower of Babel). In other words, man in his pride was attempting a power grab from God. In response, God confounded them in their pride by creating a multitude of languages. Humanity became a divided race.

At Pentecost, God rectified the situation by sending his spirit to the Church who united all peoples in one faith despite the multiplicity of languages. Ironically the power that humanity had attempted to grab as described in the book of Genesis was freely given to them at Pentecost. The difference? In the second case, the power from on high was a gift from God the Father through his Son, Jesus Christ.


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