When Pentecost day came round, they had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.
Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, each one bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. ‘Surely’ they said ‘all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; as well as visitors from Rome – Jews and proselytes alike – Cretans and Arabs; we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.’
First reading for Mass during the Day of Pentecost
The Old Testament tells of the disintegration of the unity of the human family into nations and diverse language groups. Even the particular people chosen by God to enter into new and covenanted relationship with him cannot remain a single people, their nation divides and falls, whole communities are lost from our view…
The New Testament offers a new hope, and in this episode from the Acts of the Apostles a new unity is found in God’s spirit…
- How do you share the gifts of the Spirit with others?
- Which gifts do you yourself still need help to grow into?
Detail of doors to Basilica of the Nativity, Nazareth. (c) 2017, Allen Morris