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By Stephen Beale, Catholic Exchange, May 28, 2020
Stephen Beale is a freelance writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. Raised as an evangelical Protestant, he is a convert to Catholicism.
Pentecost, it is often said, is the birthday of the Church. So what can we learn about the Church from the account of Pentecost in Acts 2?
There is, of course, so much that is happening here—the wind from heaven, the reversal of Babel, the wonderful sermon of Peter and the response it elicits—but perhaps the most enduring image from this event remains those mysterious ‘tongues of fire’ that split off over the heads from the apostles. In seeking to learn from this event, perhaps this, its most enigmatic element is an irresistible place to start.
What is immediately striking about this phenomenon is that it was so public. Here’s the account from Acts 2: ….