Let our tongues be on fire!

by Paul Yeung

On the day of the first Pentecost, the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit who appeared to them like “tongues as of fire” (Acts 2:3). The Spirit rested on each of them, bringing unity and freedom from the bondage of fear. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the disciples were transformed from being fearful to courageous. They fearlessly proclaimed the Good News of Salvation to all people and became true witness for Christ and for the Truth. Wearing Christ, they loved what Jesus loved and despised what Jesus despised. Like Jesus, they were bold, righteous, yet merciful.

However, from this first Pentecost up till now, Satan has not stopped trying to intimidate and silence us, re-injecting fear back to our lives. Shall we yield to Satan or the Holy Spirit? It is a choice we need to make constantly. Remember that the Holy Spirit helps us remain faithful to Christ. “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7) The Holy Spirit has the power to transform us, just as He did to St. Peter, helping him to concern more about heeding God’s voice than his own, thus keeping his focus on God’s work and fighting off fears.

Fighting Satan alone is dangerous. We need to form an army. That is why we need the Church (Christian community) to help us remain strong and faithful. In her, we share the unique gifts that are given to each of us. “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:7) The universality of the Church also reminds us the impartiality of God’s love for all people, “Jews or Greeks, slaves or free” (1 Corinthians 12:13) which is the model we need to adopt as we proclaim the Kingdom of God.

Jesus said to the disciples, “Peace be with you, as the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21) As we call to mind Jesus’ promise to be with us always until the end time (Matthew 28:20), let us remember to cling to and draw strength from this One Body in Christ, just as the branches must remain on the vine in order to bear much fruit. (John 15:1-5)

"Do not be afraid. Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you.” (Acts 18:9-10)

Let us not be gripped by fear anymore! Let our tongues be on fire! Let them be taken by the Spirit and proclaim to the world that the Christ crucified and is risen is our Saviour, our Lord!