This Sunday, the Easter cycle concludes with the Feast of Pentecost (after Resurrection and Ascension). On this Principal Feast, the Holy Spirit is sent to the disciples – and to us.
In our first reading, confusion reigns. The Tower of Babel is erected by descendents of Noah (Genesis 11: 1- 9). The Lord decides to confuse their language, “so they will not understand one another’s speech.” Then, he scattered them all over the face of the earth.
Many years later, the miraculous Easter cycle begins. On Pentecost the disciples speak in many languages that all can understand. Parthians, Medes, Elamites, those from Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phyrgia and Pamphlia, Egypt and Cyrene, all hear their own languages. (Acts 2: 1-11)
The reason? Jesus kept his promise. The Holy Spirit had filled the disciples, so they could communicate with all.
The message? All could understand God’s deeds of power. Later in Acts, we learn that 3,000 were baptized as a result of that powerful event.
Thus the miraculous Easter cycle is completed. All understand the power of God.
That is what we will celebrate Sunday. It is a gift from God that endures to the present day.
Thanks be to God
The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is a retired priest of the Diocese of Washington