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A lockdown reflection by Fr. Bruce – Pentecost, 31 May 2020
On the first Christian Pentecost, Scripture tells us that Jesus’ Apostles were ‘of one accord’ in one room. Around them was discord. The many languages that could be heard reminded people of the Tower of Babel, God’s punishment for man’s pride. But as the apostles began to speak, filled with God’s Spirit, people began to understand one another – discord gave way to concord. This led early Christians to speak of the Church as ‘the sacrament of unity’.
Recent experience has reminded us that the human race, for all its cultural diversity, is all in the same boat, facing the same threat. We each daily meet a choice between following our own inclinations and promoting the common good. We have been impressed to see the instinctive generosity of our society in its response to the virus. It shows, perhaps, that there are still Christian values at the base of our self-understanding.
This Pentecost is an opportunity to give thanks for that, and to pray that, as we come out of lockdown, we will not return to our petty differences but, as Catholic Christians, we will grow in our vocation to be a sacrament, that is, an effective sign, of unity for the human race.