Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF - Claretian Publications Philippines - Victoria Sanchez - Teacher in Madrid

The Spirit’s Lingua Franca


The Pentecost, the corrective event of the Tower of Babel disaster. We are all members of the one body of Christ, reminds St. Paul. Jesus breathes on the disciples, as Yahweh had breathed once into the nostrils of the first human.

The first public comment made of the new post-resurrectional community of the disciples of Jesus was that they spoke a kind of language that everyone understood. The Pentecost is the corrective to the Tower of Babel experience (Gen. 11:1-9) where hardly anyone spoke a language that another could understand. If the Babel was an attempt out of existential fear to resist a dispersal of people and to play God, the Pentecost is an act of God’s Spirit to dispel the fear and empower the new community to traverse every corner of the world, bringing a new language that every human being can understand. What is this language that anyone, beyond the conditionings of space, time, or culture, can understand? It is the language of love, the lingua franca of the Spirit of God. It is the language Christians are called to speak in and be united in.

Pray for the gift of the language of the Spirit—Love.

Talk lovingly to everyone whom you meet today.



Solemnity of Pentecost-"Receive the Holy Spirit

With this feast of Pentecost the Easter season comes to an end, in which we have celebrated Christ's passage: that is, his death and resurrection and, in turn, our passage: that from the death of sin to the life of grace.

On Pentecost the Jews celebrate the covenant they made with Yahweh on Mount Sinai, fifty days after their departure from Egypt. We Christians celebrate after the Easter of Jesus' resurrection his gift of the Holy Spirit to the apostolic community. We Christians also receive the Holy Spirit through the sacraments of baptism and confirmation: through baptism the Holy Spirit was given to us for the forgiveness of sins, and through confirmation to strengthen us in faith, never to leave us. The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us" (Rom.5,5).

The Holy Spirit is the soul of the early church and the present church.   One of our greatest sins is not believing in the action of the Holy Spirit in our days. We easily believe in his action, in the origins of the church, but we find it difficult to believe that he acts in our context, in our lives. We often just believe in him because we have been told that we have to believe, but we do not recognise his action and even less do we know about him. It is very important that St. John Paul II dedicated a whole encyclical to the theme of the Holy Spirit a whole encyclical: "Dominum et vivificantem".

And He continues to write in the hearts of people who are determined to love, to believe and to hope. We do not see Him as the tree does not see the sap that nourishes it, as the body does not see the soul that animates it, but He is there

The feast of Pentecost is an invitation to seek his presence in all of us, to welcome that God who is at the source of all life, however small and poor it may seem to us.   Our petition on this day must be that He comes upon us because without Him we cannot believe, nor trust, nor pray, nor serve, nor grow, nor love, nor suffer, nor hope. Jesus continues to encourage us through Him. And His breath is life, but it is also the breath of the Father, through whom we are “christified” and become His children.

Prayer : Lord, we too are sent to proclaim your Gospel and to show your Kingdom. May your breath of new life touch our hearts.

Action: Throughout this week we overcome the obstacles to your mission, trusting in the Lord.

(Psalm 103) Send your Spirit, Lord, and replenish the face of the earth.



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