English is such a wonderfully complex language, but sometimes it just doesn’t get it. Pentecost is one of those times. The account of the Pentecost event in Acts speaks of the Holy Spirit appearing over the apostles’ heads in tongues of flame. Later when they are proclaiming the gospel to the crowds in Jerusalem each one of the multi-lingual crowd hears them in their own language. But in the Greek of the New Testament the word for the organ in our mouths and the word for a language is the same word γλώσσα. The same is true in Latin and most other languages. Which means we miss a wordplay that I like alot. Languages of flame above the apostles’ heads. I love the image that what danced above their heads as they prayed danced in their mouths as they spoke. The Spirit burning in words.
So as you hear the words of Acts this year, hear the fire of the Spirit burning in them. Burning in them so that they might burn in us.
Pentecost and Shavuot
In a wonderful conjunction of calendars this year, this Sunday is the Jewish feast of Shavuot. The feast that the New Testament calls Pentecost. So let’s pray for our Jewish sisters and brothers as we all celebrate on the same day.
Assembly and Vacation
This coming week all the priests of the archdiocese will come together for our annual assembly. For the first time it will be with Archbishop Shelton. A year ago the speculation was all about who would be the new archbishop. This June he’s here. Right after the assembly I’ll be boarding a plane to California to hang out with my brother’s family for a couple of weeks. So I’ll see you towards the end of the month. Let’s continue praying for each other.