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Friday, February 16, 2001

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Genesis 11:1-9
Psalm 33
Mark 8:34—9:1

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babel or pentecost?

"The whole world spoke the same language, using the same words." —Genesis 11:1

Generations after the first sin there was a total breakdown of communications between people. God let this happen because of our pride and rebellion (see Gn 11:4ff).

After many thousands of years of disunity due to the confusing of our language (see Gn 11:7, 9), "suddenly from up in the sky there came a noise like a strong, driving wind which was heard all through the house" (Acts 2:2). "Tongues as of fire appeared, which parted and came to rest on each of them" (Acts 2:3). People from many nations exclaimed: "Each of us hears them speaking in his own tongue about the marvels God has accomplished" (Acts 2:11). At the first Christian Pentecost, the Holy Spirit reversed the disunity going back to the tower of Babel.

If we choose to be docile to the promptings of the Spirit, we can be one in the Spirit. We can have a divine unity in our marriages, families, Church, and neighborhoods. In the Spirit, we can be one as Jesus and the Father are One (Jn 17:21). "It was in one Spirit that all of us, whether Jew or Greek, slave or free, were baptized into one body" (1 Cor 12:13). Be one in the Spirit.

Prayer:  Father, give the Church a new Pentecost of unity.

Promise:  "Whoever would preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will preserve it. What profit does a man show who gains the whole world and destroys himself in the process?" —Mk 8:35-36

Praise:  Although she went hesitantly, Barbara was blessed at a Life in the Spirit Seminar.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our booklet, Praying for a New Pentecost.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 9, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 18, 2000