To Acknowledge Than Knowledge

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Come and See 54
Acts 2:1-11
I Cor 12: 3b-7, 12-13
Jn 20: 19-23


A man challenged his friend, “Can you prove your God? Who is He? Can you help me understand Him?” Looking outside through a window, a man asked, “Do you see a tree moving?” “Yes, I see” his friend replied. A man continued, “Do you know what makes the tree move?” “Of course, wind.” His friend replied. A man continued, “You are right. But do you see the wind?” “Stupid, who sees the wind! But I know the wind makes the tree move.” His friend spoke up. A man went on. “My friend, likewise, I cannot show you the Spirit, but the Spirit does ‘move’ my life. God is present but in His way, not in our human way.” A man acknowledged God, while his friend wanted to have knowledge about God.

Come! Holy Spirit! Enkindle in us the fire of your love!

* * *

Pentecost is a Jewish festival. In the Old Testament (Ex 23:14-17, Numbers 28:26-31), it is simply called the harvest festival. It occurs seven weeks after the beginning of the grain harvest (Deuteronomy 16:9-12). The Acts of Apostles describes a wonderful scene in the Pentecost that by the power of the Holy Spirit, all people could understand one another. Moreover, the Pentecost helped people come to the truth of the Crucified Christ, the One who was recently hung on the cross.

Fifty days ago, despite their knowledge, these people vigorously raised their voice to condemn Jesus and all Apostles. They were those who closed their eyes in order to follow their way of thinking and acting. According to them, they knew Scripture and they acted in accordance with the Scripture and their law. Like St. Paul before conversion, who appeared as a scripture scholar, but not acknowledge the truth about the Crucified Christ until the conversion. Like “The chief priests and scribes know exactly where the Messiah is to be born. But they do not recognize him.”[1] Needless to say, knowledge sometimes can become a hinder for us to understand whom Christ truly is if we do not open up our heart, a heart with wounds and sufferings, to God. The Holy Spirit helps us acknowledge the truth of Christ, who loves us and die for us, rather than the knowledge about historical Christ.

The Pentecost invites us to open up our heart and mind to the Holy Spirit. To open means not to close oneself, but to allow the Holy Spirit work in our present situation. To open means to be courageous to talk about God with the intention to “bring God to people and bring people to God.” The reality was that if the Holy Spirit used St. Peter to make 3,000 people acknowledge the Crucified Christ, then now, the Holy Spirit continues to use us to make our friends, neighbors acknowledge the Crucified Christ as well.

Come! Holy Spirit! Enkindle in us the fire of your love!

Br. Huynhquảng

[1] Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth Part II (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2011), 207.

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