Think about the Pentecost story in Acts 2.1-12 as the counterpoint to Babel in Genesis 11. 1-9.
When the people created the tower of Babel, when our contemporaries and we attempt to build a massive superstructure without a relationship to God as its foundation, the result is confusion, division, disharmony, chaos and bewilderment. As a result of building a tower of Babel, people cannot understand each other. “You are babbling!” Separation is inevitable, if not immediate.
What happened at Pentecost we really don’t know. We are certain though that the disciples had an experience of the power of the Spirit flooding their being such as they had never had before.
The power of the Holy Spirit gave the disciples a message and an utterance that could reach every heart. Those who heard the disciples on that first Pentecost could understand them, each in his/her own tongue. Unity happened, where none was expected.
When we are linked with the Holy Spirit, we, too, are powerful, because the Holy Spirit is powerful. We have the power to be and do with a life force that moves in us, above us, around us, under us, and we have the power to receive and embody the gifts of the Spirit (Galatians 5.22)
We are given the power of clear speaking and convinced hearts. Without doubt, Pentecost is the Feast of Conviction.
Conviction means: I will. I will believe. I will go. I will do it. I will link my efforts with those of others. I will say yes. I will say no.
This week, as we anticipate the bright, brilliant flame. the Holy Breath, the Holy Wind of Pentecost, let’s use the words of Sister Pat Schnapp, believer and poet:
stir our passion again!
and spin them past
our tame intentions.
Huff and puff till you blow down
the shutters we hide in.
~Joan Sobala, SSJ