Exactly 13 months ago, 27th of April 2011 our country saw the largest recorded tornado killing over 300 people across six states and we were in the list. There came a strong wind that uprooted homes and lives. It brought about a destruction and it passed like a wild beast. That is what strong wind does. It changes lives forever.
2000 years ago there was a different kind of wild wind that passed through Jerusalem and went through all of the known world. And that experience is better explained in a different great fiction. May be the writer got the idea from the accounts of this wind that happened on the day of Pentecost.
Yes, Today is Pentecost, the day the a whirlwind swept through a group of scared men and women gathered in the upper room waiting in patience.
In this fictional wind, the young girl, Dorothy gets carried away to a far away land that is unlike anything she has been in before. She is transported to a new world. In this new world there is immense beauty, beauty of which she had never dreamed. There is also danger. Along the way Dorothy develops friendships with a Scarecrow which needs a brain, a Tin Man who wants a heart, and a Cowardly Lion who desperately needs courage. Together these four, plus Toto, have a mighty adventure. This teaches her mighty lessons of life as she returns home.
A strong wind that happened has lifted up the Apostles to a land where there is the brain, the heart and the courage needed to pursue the call God invited the apostles. Nobody can enter into God’s call without the brain, the heart and the courage of the other world.
My dear brothers and sisters, the day of Pentecost is a day of disruption and day of challenges. It is a call to change the ways we see ourselves and our potential. It is the day we are blessed with the brain to plan it, and a heart to love it and the necessary courage to execute it.
We are to be like the Apostles with all our desires and passions, failures and forgetfulness. You know the song of Andrew Lord Webber.
Look at all my trials and tribulations
Sinking in a gentle pool of wine.
Don’t disturb me now, I can see the answers
‘Till this evening is this morning, life is fine.
Always hoped that I’d be an apostle.
Knew that I would make it if I tried.
Then when we retire, we can write the Gospels,
So they’ll still talk about us when we’ve died.
Yes, we are all called to become an apostle in today’s world no matter what motivates us. It may be the desire for fame, name, shame or whatever. Be an apostle for Christ and start talking the Gospel of love to the world around us. We have to transform the community to love.
Everytime there is a great wind of the Holy Spirit we are faced with two situations. “A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.” Yes, it is a great imagination or a great headache. To each of us when we are faced with this dilemma, we know what heart we are nurturing in our lives. It is always wonderful to be around those who are imaginative than headaches. It is always life giving when there is a dream even if the dream is hard to live up to. Fr. Alberto Cutie said two days ago, “A bad dream still better than a no dream at all”.
The world we live is not looking for solutions. The world is fighting to live everyday fully and meaningfully. Howard Thurman, would say, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” What the world around us is looking for people who are alive and dreams. No dead man ever dreams and there is no imagination left in them.
But then we need help and courage to do what we have learned in our dream. This is the cry of the lion that is seeking courage. We need the wind to give us the courage to execute our dreams.
The African Proverb, “If you want to speak to God, tell it to the wind.” Yes, let the wind that is powerful to topple anything on earth and the heaven carry you to the bosom of God and to the midst of the people of all kinds. Pray in the wind, in the wild blowing of our fears. Let the wind that transformed the world on the day of Pentecost challenge you out of your boots to take a stand on the side of St. John the Apostle who was carried into the church day after day. He admonished the church, “My little children love one another. It is the Lord’s command, and if this alone be done, it is enough.”
There is a great wind in the Arctic. In the March of the Penguins you see all kinds of Penguins flocking to huddle together and become strong. It is only the Great Wind that can bring us all back together. It is only when we understand Pentecost is all about we will have the courage to allow imagination. It is only then we can live what St. John asked us repeatedly. “My little children love one another. It is the Lord’s command, and if this alone be done, it is enough.”
On the Day of Pentecost 2012