Bangkok is a melting pot of many different cultures. Many nationalities fly our flags here. People from all parts of the world are settled here. Each had a reason why we came. Each have a reason why we choose to remain. These reasons may not always be cheerful, but they nevertheless fill the chapters of our life. When we initiated a pastoral outreach, a friend remarked, “Everyone has a story”.
Yes, we each have a unique and personalised story. And our story is always filled with drama, the lows and the highs, the pains and the laughter. The drama of this pandemic is still being written, the plot still unfolding, the same storyline having a different, unique impact on each of us. But each story will have the same ending, it ends with our last breath. In between birth and death, everyone has a powerful story because somewhere in those chapters, the story captures this mystery of God in us.
“We hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God”. (First Reading)
Today is Pentecost. The locked door of our waiting room is thrown open. As believers, we are called to step outside our comfort zone and preach. But few of us are articulate with words, masters of language. And even fewer are equipped with precise knowledge. We are not called to climb onto ambos, or perch on social media platforms with a large following. But we each do have a story. Inside, the chapters hide this mystery of the almighty God’s presence in our midst. It is for us, our Pentecost, to tell.
Our personal story is a language on its own. It communicates beyond words. Real life experiences add flesh to words. Our stories speak of truths. Stories testify. They communicate hope, and faith. When we tell our story, we relive the drama of our life. When we wander down our own history, with a little bit of vulnerability and humility, we see God’s guiding and protective hand in all our chapters. The deeper we go, the more we find him. God is in the little details of our personalised stories. And our story will tell about the marvels of God.
Our world today need to hear the Good News in a different way, in a new language that effectively communicates today. Our world has developed in an era of information, science and technology so much so that intellectual logic questions this presence of God in our midst. Today’s lifestyles beg for experiences. In each of our own story, our chapters beg to be told. Emotions soften the hard edge of the intellect and in life realities, both co-exist. Everyone’s story can be the beating heart of our faith life.
“What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Second Reading)
Today our world is very sick. The church is outside its closed doors. We are the church. “Be filled with the Holy Spirit”, step outside of your waiting room and tell your story. It will speak powerfully to the people who know us personally in our own little worlds. This is the image when everyone tells their story in their own worlds: it will be seemed like tongues of fire spread throughout the world.
Pentecost Sunday, 2021