One and Many on Pentecost           

(On the One vs Many theme again)

Just as the great private event of the Resurrection “began” Christianity among a small handful of persons, the great public event was the Pentecost. Until Pentecost, Judaism was a communal faith, social in nature, a religion for a people. But look what happens at Pentecost:

The Holy Spirit divided and settled on each of them, and each of them was transformed by it. They had lived in fear, hiding in a group in the upper room to pray. But then the Holy Spirit came and baptized each one of them and they each experienced a new reality, and spoke in languages that had been alien, foreign, to them: A revolution of consciousness happened in each one of them: Their faith became personal, intensely so, and Christianity was born.

And so it happened for everyone who was open to it. Imagine being in a place where no one understands you, no one knows you; you cannot communicate with anyone, you are isolated, invisible to everyone around you. And then you hear yourself being addressed personally in your native tongue. You are no longer invisible, no longer alone. No—you are personally known, and personally forgiven—and you are loved, personally.

There are socio-political forces literally everywhere (including the Church) who would have us believe that all things good are communal. That may be so—I don’t know. I do know that communalism is the useful and necessary stuff of political and social theory. I also know that Christian faith is not a faith in political or social theory.

Dena Hunt
Dena Hunt is the author of the award-winning historical novel Treason (Sophia Institute Press), and The Lion’s Heart (Full Quiver Press), as well as several short stories and reviews, online and in print, at Dappled Things, StAR, and The Pilgrim Journal. She also writes for FaithCatholic, a liturgical publication company. She is currently working on her third novel. She is the book review editor of St. Austin Review.

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