Filed Under:  Columns, OpEd, Opinion

Three journeys to eternal life

29th May 2012   ·   0 Comments

By Fr. Jerome LeDoux
Contributing Columnist

For nine days after Jesus had ascended into heaven, some 120 believers were locked up in the upper room where they prayed the first novena in salvation history.

Acts 2:2 picks up the action, “Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire that spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.”

Superheated by tongues of fire from the Holy Spirit, a dozen, a score or more of tongues were exploding out of the mouths of the apostles and all the other believers as they dashed out into the streets of Jerusalem, proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. So intense and joyous were they that some scoffers thought they were drunk.

Such a proliferation of languages has never been approximated since that first Pentecost Sunday, al­though some Christians enjoy the gift of tongues as recounted by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:10 where he speaks of the gifts from the Holy Spirit.

Today, however, there is a new, powerful beginning of something that resembles Pentecost with a technological twist. Instead of the proliferation of languages to convey the Good News, there is a blog airwaves equivalency through its global immediacy. I am sure the Holy Spirit approves, while not abandoning the reality of the gift of tongues.

“Whispers In The Loggia” was unknown to me before the Fort Worth Diocese’s April 25 Presbyteral Spring Assembly where 29-year-old Rocco Palmo recounted his remarkable trek to the blog airwaves. Once there, he had no idea where he was going.

All that was to change rapidly as the “three or so” bloggers he expected to respond to his first blog turned out to be dozens, soon mushrooming into hundreds, thousands and, amazingly, over 30,000. The only thing that stunned him more than the numbers was the incredible amount of particular and universal information at hand.

Totally unexpected was the blogs airwaves introduction of Rocco to intimate media ties with the Vatican and to world-girdling jobs as U.S. correspondent for the London-based international Catholic weekly, The Tablet, as a church analyst for The New York Times, Associated Press, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, BBC, NBC, CNN, National Public Radio and many other mainstream print and broadcast outlets worldwide.

Sprung from deep Italian roots in his native Philadelphia, Rocco Palmo attended the University of Pennsylvania, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. In 2010, in recognition of his globe-circling communications, he received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St Louis.

Analogously to the multiple tongues on Pentecost Sunday, the blogs phenomenon greatly and efficiently multiplies our ability to reach people near, far and nearly everywhere around the entire globe. This global outreach makes one wonder about Matthew 24:14, “And this Good News about the kingdom will be preached through all the world for a witness to all people; and then the end will come.”

Does the fulfillment of this prediction of Jesus seem to be nearing as the cyber tool of blogs rapidly spreads the Good News about the kingdom to all the media centers of the world, gradually reaching through cell phones into every nook and cranny? Is Rocco Palmo unwittingly becoming a catalyst hastening the end time of the world?

Further, a few dozen priests at our Presbyteral Assembly raised their hands when Rocco asked whether any priests present were working with blogs. Then and there I decided to begin a personal blog in order to share the Good News with more people.

So, will we all become catalysts hastening the worldwide preaching of the Good News, thereby also precipitating the earlier arrival of the end time of the world? Taking Jesus at his word, that would seem to be the case. However, be that the case or not, the thought should in no way deter us from multiplying our abilities through instant blogs.

Pentecostal flames may have inspired the end of the Bible in Revelation 22:20-21, “So be it. Come, Lord Jesus! May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with everyone.”

This article was originally published in the May 28, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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