THEME: Between Tower of Babel and the Pentecost.

BY: Fr Justus Oruma.


(a) Difference does not in any way simply mean division. We are differently gifted, of different orientations and languages such that ordinarily, understanding one another, as in the Tower of Babel experience would be impossible. There is confusion and lack of understanding if our differences are not reconciled and complementary like the different parts of a living body. If each part of the body live for itself, the entire body dies. If our different gifts are not reconciled together due to lack of understanding but each live for himself, the community dies

(b) The Pentecost resolves the confusion and lack of understanding of the Tower of Babel experience. (babel -tongue). In the Tower of Babel case, people who shared common language were speaking to one another but there were confused due to lack of understanding. On the Pentecost day, the Apostles were speaking their tongue but people of different tongues were understanding them. Different tongues, one understanding! This is the power and work of the Holy Spirit, putting together and reconciling our differences created at the tower of Babel; no more difference between Jew and Gentile, slave and free man. (Gal. 3:28). The Holy Spirit reconciles us men in our differences so that we can live together. “Different gifts but one Spirit.” (1 Cor. 12:4).


I wonder the origin of people “speaking in tongues” today in public prayers and no one understands the other but only shoutings and noise? Is it still the same Spirit of the Pentecost which gives understanding or a return to the Tower of Babel experience of confusion? No one but only these people can tell?

(c) The Holy Spirit also reconciles us with God, (Remember Isaiah 59:2- “your sin has made a separation” between you and your God). Thus Jesus left us the Sacrament of Reconciliation through the Breath of the Holy Spirit; breathing on them he said; “receive the Holy Spirit, which ever sin you forgive, they are forgiven”, thereby reconciling us with God the Father.

We are different but this does not mean division. Division is the work of the devil (diabolos- division). There are wars, rancor and confused states in some homes and families due to unreconciled differences strewn all over confusedly like the formless void of Genesis 1, which still need the hovering of the Holy Spirit today for a recreation and a fitting together. When the differences are reconciled, there is understanding. Thus, our problem is not that we are different, but that our differences are not reconciled. Open your heart to receive the Holy Spirit, the Breath of your life for a peaceful home. He fills the hearts of the Faithful. And the Father gives Him willingly. “..how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke11:13). We need the Spirit to understand all things.

Veni Sancte Spiritus!


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