Benedict XVI Calls on Faithful Seek Unity in the Holy Spirit

Says that Despite Advances in Communication, Man is Reliving the Event of Babel

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By Junno Arocho

VATICAN CITY, May 29,2012 (Zenit.org).- On Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI reflected in his homily on the feast of Pentecost, describing it as a  “feast of unity, of understanding and of human communion". Thousands packed St. Peter’s Square where the outdoor mass was celebrated.

The Holy Father said that despite developments in communication, understanding and communion between people are 'superficial and difficult'.

"Inequalities continue that do not infrequently lead to conflicts; dialogue between generations is hard sometimes opposition prevails; we see daily events which appear to suggest that people are becoming more aggressive and more unsociable; it seems to be too demanding to try to understand each other and we prefer to be closed up in our own 'I', in our own interests", the pope sad.

The pope contemplated on the biblical account of the Tower of Babel and its relevance to society’s advances in communication and technology. The pontiff stated that in the context of increased scientific abilities and progress that man has attained, "praying to God seems like something obsolete, useless, because we can build and realize anything we want". The pope reiterated that in doing so, man is reliving the experience of Babel.

"Indeed, we have multiplied the possibilities of communicating, of having information, of transmitting news, but can we say that the capacity to understand each other has grown or is it perhaps the case that, paradoxically, we understand each other less and less", the pope said.

The Holy Father compared the account of Babel with the event of Pentecost, recalling the words of St. Paul regarding the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, and peace. "Let us note that the Apostle uses the plural to describe the works of the flesh, which divide and scatter us, while he uses the singular to define the Spirit’s action – he speaks of 'fruit' – just as the scattering of Babel is opposed to the unity of Pentecost."

The 85 year old pontiff, concluded his homily by inviting the faithful to live in the spirit of unity and truth. He also exhorted them to pray to the Spirit to 'enlighten us and lead us to overcome the fascination with following our own truths and instead the truth of Christ transmitted in the Church".