Pentecost in Ottawa

A moment of recognition came to me during the first reading at Mass yesterday, the Feast of Pentecost. The reading concludes:

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. (Acts, 2:7-11)

Our congregation that day, as on every other Sunday, was as diverse as the crowd in Jerusalem. The lector proclaiming the reading was from Liberia. The celebrant was from the US; he was assisted by a priest visiting from Ethiopia. The choir included musicians from Indonesia, the Philippines, and St. Lucia. The volunteer who trained the altar servers was from Pakistan. Two people in the pew behind me were from Holland. Other families I know hailed from Cameroon, Syria, Iraq, Germany, Scotland, India, and nearly every province and territory in Canada.

On a Sunday morning in suburban Ottawa, united by the Spirit,  attentive to the Word, one in our diversity … home.


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