A New Age
Pentecost Sunday (B)

Antonio P. Pueyo
Reproduced with Permission

When I was a college student forty years ago, a song associated with the hippie movement filled the air waves, and if my memory serves me right the lyrics go,

When the moon is in the seventh house,
and Jupiter’s aligned with Mars
then peace will guide our planets
and love will steer the stars.
This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.

That anthem underlined what we now call as the New Age. According to esoteric disciplines, which claim access to certain mysteries of the universe through astrology, we are in a new phase of the life of the planet. This phase is characterized by an expansion of consciousness which leads to harmony.

Action starter: Identify your particular gift to be used in the service of the community.

Thus, the 1970’s were marked by a mixture of social activism inspired by the motto, “Make love, not war,” experimentation with drugs to expand consciousness, interest in the occult and Oriental religions, especially in the practice of yoga and meditation, and focus on individual freedom and expressions. The tail-end of that whirlwind is still felt, although described among younger circles as “retro”.

For the Christian believer, the new age has come even earlier than the 1970’s. It started with the coming down of the Holy Spirit upon a small community of friends. They were united by their experience of the Risen Lord. His vision of a new heaven and a new earth, also called the kingdom of God caught their imagination and propelled them to go to the ends of the earth. His life and death spoke of love, community, kindness, forgiveness, peace, and healing. Just as He reconciled the world to the Father, so He commissioned His disciples to be ministers of reconciliation, “I will send you the Spirit of truth. He will be my witness and you too will be my witnesses” (jn 15:26-27).

The community of disciples, inspired by the Spirit of the Lord, became witnesses to this new kind of life. They were from different cultures, Greeks as well as Israelites . They spoke different languages yet they experienced becoming one, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his own native language? (Acts 2:8). This was the act of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit brings harmony. The coming of the Holy Spirit is the dawn of a new age. Thus our prayer to the Holy Spirit, “You shall renew the face of the earth.”

That great builder of communities, St. Paul the Apostle, spoke of the gifts of the Spirit that are to be used for the building up of the body of Christ which is the church, “To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. As a body is one though it has many parts, and all parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ” (1 Cor. 12:12).

If by the coming of the Spirit, a new age of harmony is started, why are there still conflicts, divisions, and wars? We will feel disappointed if we imagine the work of the Spirit to be something massively magical, that without any effort on our part, peace and harmony will come on earth. The Spirit does not work that way.

The Spirit works with human beings who are willing to be guided by this powerful “breath of life”. The Spirit of the Lord seeks partners in this great work of renewing the face of the earth. A partner of the Spirit is one who opens up his mind, heart, and soul to receive the gift that the Spirit gives. He then uses that gift in the service of the church and the world.

This is the Christian disciple’s expansion of consciousness.

We can work with the assurance that whatever contribution we make will be used by God to renew the face of the earth. In God’s own time, the new age will reach perfection as we continue to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”