Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit that comes from the Father (Jn 15, 26). And not to have this Spirit is not to belong to Christ, and not be but noise.
It is not that God likes noise. In fact, he was in a soft whisper (1 Kgs 19, 12). But he has to vie for people’s attention where there is much noise.
And in Jerusalem, the throng is wild with joy. For “devout Jews from every nation under heaven” are celebrating the Feast of Weeks. They give thanks for the fruits of the earth. And they recall the Covenant at Sinai, which happened some fifty days after exodus.
But far be it from God to let the competition win. Hence, comes a noise from heaven like a strong wind. And the noise prompts those who are there for the feast to go to where the disciples are. They are puzzled also since they hear Galileans speak in other tongues.
And some of those puzzled turn thoughtful, but others disdainful. But it does not matter, since God gets their attention just the same. Peter, then, speaks to the crowd; he opens the Scriptures to them. So then, God makes use of the noise to usher in his New People and add to it some three thousand members.
At the mercy of the noise of the world?
To stay Christians, we cannot set aside the Spirit. For not to have the Spirit is not to belong to Christ (Rom 8, 9). But with the Spirit, we shall not be at the mercy of the noise in the world.
Not to clothe ourselves with the power from on high means the noise of tempting and tricky teaching will trap us (Eph 4, 14). That is to say, we will lack inner life. We will not give ourselves to God or be all about him (SV.EN X:575). We will not have the peace and the courage to go to where Jesus sends us.
Hence, the way we live will not not be worth it, for ours will be a life without reflection. Crucial questions about life will not matter to us (GS 4.10). We will live as the rich fool, locked up in a mythical world of merits (Lk 12, 16-21).
Such self-absorption shows that one lacks wisdom to know that life is short. That we owe it all to God also. The fool has no clue that greed is the root of all evil, that it destroys and makes us not human (1 Tim 6, 10; Jas 4, 1-2).
If the Spirit is not with us, we will not be aware that the Word is near us. There will be no link between it and our life. And we will toil in vain as we seek to find the bread of life in all the wrong places. It is not in high or first places, nor in the wealth across the seas.
Lord Jesus, make your Spirit burn in us and bear such fruit as the peace, patience and thankfulness of poor farmers (Jas 5, 7; SV.EN XII:142). Do not let us be part of the noise made by those who politicize everything, even problems about health, inequality, polarization.
23 May 2021
Pentecost Sunday (B)
Acts 2, 1-11; 1 Cor 12, 3b-7. 12-13/Gal 5, 16-25; Jn 20, 19-23