Saturday, May 30, 2009

488. Diverse things happening

Stuart wasn't the only one. Kiran left too, as did Lillian. My friend Preston moved "back home" this weekend. My friend Keith is planning a Greyhound ride to California in two weeks to the same place where Stuart will ultimately light. All this moving about is somewhat bewildering.

But these are bewildering times. Tomorrow's readings for Mass indicate such. Outside of Christmas and Easter, the two high-holy holidays, tomorrow, which is the Feast of Pentecost, is my favorite. And it is a remembrance of a bewildering day in history, assuming you believe at least some parts of the Bible are actual, as I do. Like the reading from the Second Chapter of Luke announcing the birth of Jesus and that of Mark with the angel announcing to Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James at the tomb of Jesus that "He is risen; He is not here," the readings associated with tomorrow's feast are very familiar. From the Book of Acts, Chapter 2, is the arrival of the Holy Spirit, and the day every one was gathered together from all parts of the known world. It is like an enchantment. In fact, in the book The Mists of Avalon - one of my favorites - the entire scene is borrowed in a episode related to the Holy Grail. Here is the biblical passage:

When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs-- in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine."

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
And I will show portents in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

The repeated passage from Joel, an Old Testament prophet, adds to the whirlwind of emotion addressed in the Acts, traditionally believed to have been written by Saint Luke. What I take from the reading is simple - that we are all part of the great and mysterious family of God, no matter our race or skin color or belief or gender or occupation or economic status or political ideology or hairstyle (or lack-of-hair-to-style as is my case) or any of the other differences that make us different. Here, in this day, as in that, we all belong not only to God but to each other. That's a very comforting and comfortable thought.

Thanks Be To God.


Unrelated, tomorrow, in addition to being the FEast of Pentecost, is also the 6th birthday of my youngest nephew Elijah Gene Noble. Happy Birthday, Elijah.

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The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.