There are many forces in the world that affect us significantly. Among them are the following:
1. Earth. It is the ground on which we stand. It receives everything that falls on it. Plants grow on it. On it houses are built, roads and other infrastructures are constructed. It gives life to plants and animals, and food for people. Movement in the earth, though, like earthquake, can also destroy. Above all these, the earth does not complain.
2. Wind/air. We don’t see it, but it’s there. It gives life to people, animals and plants through their breathing system. It freshens the atmosphere. It dries things up. It provides for people ways to meet their necessities in life. Strong winds like hurricane, can also destroy. Above all, it is life to creation.
3. Fire. It burns things up, lights up the darkness and generates heat. It purifies metals, like gold and silver. It is used to cook. Uncontrolled fire, though, endangers people and things.
4. Water. It quenches thirst, refreshes bodies and gives life. It allows fish and other organisms to grow. It can hold the earth firm or loosen it. It is an avenue of transportation and means of entertainment. Uncontrolled gush of water, though, can also destroy living beings.
On the first Pentecost all these forces of the universe moved: the earth shook, the wind blew purposefully, tongues of fire rested on the apostles, and people were to be baptized with water and Spirit. They were moved and utilized by God as at the moment of the creation of the world.
In the beginning there was chaos. and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters. God spoke and the universe was created, man was created, and there was order. At Pentecost, despite the fear among the apostles and the people, the Holy Spirit hovered over them and tongues of fire rested on the apostles, and they proclaimed the Word of God. Through them, believers received the courage to listen to the Word and abide by it.
Every force in the universe is moved or influenced by a bigger and stronger force, like, the earth and all other planets move around the sun; the moon moves around the earth. Man is different. Because of his freewill, he can allow a greater force to move him or hinder it. He can allow the Holy Spirit to influence him. He may also hinder the Holy Spirit and allow another force, the Devil, to affect him.
At the tower of Babel, the people experienced confusion because their pride and arrogance reached the skies. They allowed themselves to be moved by the force of Evil. On Pentecost, the people were united to listen to God through the Apostles, who showed them the enthusiasm to live their faith and make their lives examples of the love that Jesus showed them. Except those who were stubbornly arrogant, like the unbelieving Jews, the Pharisees and the Scribes, at Pentecost the believers were filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Let not the forces of chaos, pride and arrogance, selfishness and division, influence us, for these will zap away the power and energy that the Holy Spirit gives us. Let us make the Holy Spirit the Force that overshadows us, so that Pentecost will not just be an event that happened over 2000 years ago, but our way of life today. Let Pentecost happen today, so that indifference and selfishness will be burned away, and so that our hearts will burn with the fire of faith, hope and love for God and his people. Let Pentecost happen in our families, so that there will be genuine reconciliation and love between husbands and wives and order in the lives of their children. Let the Holy Spirit move us through our constant prayer, faithful celebration of the Eucharist, prayerful reflection of the Scriptures and loving service to His people.
Today and all the days of our life, let our prayer be: Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Your love. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
God bless you all.