This past Sunday was Pentecost Sunday. On that day we celebrated the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles in the form of tongues of fire. When the apostles spoke, there was no confusion. Everyone present heard and understood them. The word babel is defined as: a scene of noise or confusion. Today our world seems more confused than ever. It is time, once again, to invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts. Please read more.
In Genesis 11:1-9, we read about the tower of Babel. According to the story, at that time the whole world spoke the same language and used the same words. The people took their eyes off of God and decided to make a name for themselves by building a great city with a tower with its top in the sky. Metaphorically speaking, they were relying on their own abilities and essentially building a monument to human accomplishment. Doesn’t that sound just like our world today? Therefore, God confused their language because He knew that later on they would stop at nothing in pursuit of their own desires.
Stop and look around at the world today. Aren’t we as a society far more self-focused rather than God focused? When we see some of the crazy notions being put forth in the world today, it might cause us to ask ourselves this question, “Is our world filled with a cacophony of meaningless babel?”
Now, let’s go back and reflect for a moment on the birthday of the Church, the first Pentecost. In John 20:19-23, we read that on the first day of the week, when the doors were locked, out of fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” After showing them His hands and His side, Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Act 2:1-11 tells the story this way. “When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” We are told that everyone present heard them speaking in his own language.
When we compare the Genesis story to the Pentecost stories found in John and Acts, I believe we can draw this conclusion. When we humans focus on ourselves and our abilities and desires, we can easily become lost, confused, and filled with babel. When we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, we find direction in life, we are less confused, we understand the voice of God with more clarity, and we become better equipped to share the good news of Jesus with the world.
Here are a few more Bible verses regarding the Holy Spirit:
- In John 14:26 Jesus assured us that the Holy Spirit will guide us in truth.
- In Acts 2:38 Peter tells us that when we were Baptized, we received the gift of the Holy Spirit
- In John 14:16 Jesus informs us that the Holy Spirit will be our Advocate.
- In 1 Corinthians 6:19 Paul states, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”
- In Romans 8:26 we read, “In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.”
- In Ephesians 1:13 we find the assurance that through the Holy Spirit we have been sealed with the knowledge of our salvation by Jesus Christ.
- In Acts 1:8 we read that it is through the Holy Spirit that we have the power to spread the Gospel.
Hopefully we all agree that we need the Holy Spirit in our lives. Paul tells us in Galatians 5:22-23 that the fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. So, in conclusion, if we desire to be filled with these fruits of the Holy Spirit and if we desire to be less susceptible to the babbling nonsense of those who are trying to build towers in a godless world, let’s invite the Holy Spirit into our lives each day with this prayer:
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of us Your faithful and kindle in us the fire of Your love. Send forth Your Spirit and we shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit instructs the hearts of the faithful, grant, that by the same Holy Spirit, we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolations, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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