To speak the ‘language’ of another person implies to ‘reason’ with him, while communicating to him the truth, even divine truth


Meditation for the Solemnity of Pentecost

(Acts 2:1-11; 1 Cor 12:3-7, 12-13; Jn 20:19-23)

As we meditate on the Pentecost event, we turn our attention to the great sound and energy that announced the descent of the Holy Spirit. It was a sudden sound, like the rush of a mighty wind; an overshadowing sound that leaves it imprint on all that it touches. The Holy Spirit came with so great a sound, yet, so gentle like the sound of silence! A tongue of fire appeared on each of the apostles; a fire blazing but not burnt up (Ex 3:2). These symbols indicate that the break forth of the Holy Spirit had to overcome certain barriers so as to make His abode in human nature.


Maybe the mode of His descending will help us understand deeply how far heaven can be from earth without the Holy Spirit; man would have been totally ‘locked up’ in himself, and salvation of Christ would have been available to the few people who can access it and remember it! Fear and emotional instability would dominate the actions of people. It is almost an unimaginable life without the Holy Spirit. The force and energy that shattered these barriers and brought us this far is worthy of our meditation.


So, in listening to the sound of silence, the sound of meditation, we perceive the sound of the movement of the Spirit, and appreciate that transforming power that saves us. The great sound, like a mighty wind and the burning fire, demonstrates clearly that overcoming power of God, the unstoppable movement of the Holy Spirit, which renews the face of the earth and restores man’s friendship with His creator. The gifts of the Holy Spirit (Is 11:2-3; 1 Cor 12:7-10) and the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) indicate that the regeneration that the Spirit brings cannot be achieved by human power. In fact, they can only come about when the divine power overpowers the human power.


As we listen to the great sound of Pentecost, we stand in awe at that power which can move man to speak in the tongue of his fellow man, to speak to the understanding of his neighbor. To speak the ‘language’ of another person implies to ‘reason’ with him, while communicating to him the truth, even divine truth. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth (Jn 16:13), can man communicate truth to one another with love, without violating his conscience or dignity. As we ‘drink of one Spirit’, we achieve such unity that accommodates variety, without destroying anyone’s individuality.


The great sound of Pentecost continues to vibrate in the Church today as we celebrate. The great anointing power of the Holy Spirit gently melts away the stubbornness of our hearts. The powerful rush of wind from on high refreshes our hearts like the new breath of life. Jesus breathed on His disciples and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” As we draw close to the life of Jesus, this Breathe continues to settle in us gently but powerfully transforming us into the image of Christ. The Holy Spirit brings to life in us the life of Jesus, His love, forgiveness and salvation. Jesus said, “The Holy Spirit will glorify me, since all He reveals to you will be taken from what is mine (Jn 16:14).


Therefore, in listening to the sound of the movement of the Holy Spirit in us, we discern how to open up our hearts and allow Him to inspire our actions. By so doing, the great sound of Pentecost becomes for us a rhythm of love and joy. A joy filled with peace, and a peace afire with love for God and neighbor. Amen.


Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R

Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,

Tedi-Muwo, Ojo, Lagos.

Sunday June 5th, 2022.

Solemnity of Pentecost.

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