Did You Know? Pentecost and the Tower of Babel June 20, 2024

Did you know that Pentecost is a reversal of the Tower of Babel?

What took place in the upper room in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13) is the reversal of what led to the construction of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-8). God reunites humanity in a common language where He previously divided them because they attempted to build a unified kingdom and tower to heaven apart from God.

The Feast of Pentecost is the celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Most Holy Theotokos and the Holy Apostles in Jerusalem, 50 days after Pascha (Easter) and 10 days after Christ’s Ascension. The Holy Spirit, like a violent wind, filled the whole house. Tongues of fire rested on each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in various languages. Jewish people from every nation who were in Jerusalem could hear the Gospel message in their own language. About 3000 believed and were baptized.

The Holy Spirit fulfilled at Pentecost what the human spirit can never do – the true unification of God’s people. The Spirit of truth and love has repaired the division and destruction of Babel. The world can once more be united in the common language of Christ, the Word of God. Saint Irenaeus says, “Through Baptism we have become one body, and through the Spirit we have become one soul.”

Through the Holy Spirit, the Church speaks a single language – a divinely inspired holy language of God’s revelation – one that every person, regardless of tribe or tongue, can understand and communicate with others. This is the mission of the Church.

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