Sunday, 4 June 2006

The meaning of Pentecost

“The episode with Cornelius [in Acts 10] shows that the Jews ‘were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit should have been poured out even on Gentiles.’ ... What we have here, therefore, is a twofold process. On the one hand, there is a universalisation of the presence of God: from being localised and linked to a particular people, it gradually extends to all the peoples of the earth. On the other hand, there is an internalisation, or rather, an integration of this presence: from dwelling in places of worship, this presence is transferred to the heart of human history.... Christ is the point of convergence of both processes. In him, in his personal uniqueness, the particular is transcended and the universal becomes concrete. In him, in his Incarnation, what is personal and internal becomes visible....

Finally, let us emphasise that here there is no ‘spiritualisation’ involved.... The ‘pro-fane,’ that which is located outside the temple, no longer exists.”

—Gustavo Gutiérrez, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation (New York: Orbis, 1973), pp. 109-110.

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