Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues.

Acts 2,Luke 24:49 (9-11)

It’s Pentecost today, the 50th day from Easter Sunday. It is Luke who describes what happened that day, more than 2,000 years ago. Luke is one of the ‘four evangelists’, the authors of the canonical gospel. He is also the patron saint of artists, physicians, bachelors, surgeons, students and butchers, a somewhat strange mix of people. It is thought that he himself was a physician. So he must have known a lot about the difficulties of communication, even when people are speaking the same language. And then, one day, all of a sudden, people as different as the Medes and the strangers of Rome understood each other. Tongues of fire.

We went to mass again for the first time in a very long time. When I was listening to the Gospel I thought about the importance of understanding each other, of making sure to listen to each other, of rather than talking at each other of talking with each other. If the Elamites and the dwellers of Mesopotamia managed to understand each other, surely we can too.

Pádraig discovered another way to keep fit for the #Iron-Month and to use The Weight.

Isn’t it amazing what you can do with a bit of enthusiasm and imagination? In case you were wondering, The Weight is securely attached to his ankle using one of the attachments from the Lokomat. A brilliant idea. Pádraig is lifting The Weight up without any help, just a bit of secure guidance, so that the leg wouldn’t accidentally turn over to one side and be pulled into the wrong direction.

Nothing like a bit of fun and variation.

I am still re-discovering English-language songs I grew up with and never understood. One of these songs is The Weight. You might know it from the movie Easy Rider or The Last Waltz. Even when I finally begun to recognise the words, I didn’t really understood the lyrics. According to Robbie Robertson, the song was inspired by the movies of Luis Beñuel (“Thank God, I’m an atheist“) in which people were trying but failing to be good, like in Viridiana.

Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And (and) (and) you put the load right on me
(You put the load right on me)

Robbie said about The Weight, that it was a story very similar to those Buñel told in his movies. Someone saying to someone else who is on the way to Nazareth,

“Listen, would you do me this favour? When you get there will you say ‘hello’ to somebody or will you give somebody this or will you pick up one of these for me? Oh? You’re going to Nazareth, that’s where the Martin guitar factory is. Do me a favour when you’re there.” This is what it’s all about. So the guy goes and one thing leads to another and it’s like “Holy shit, what’s this turned into? I’ve only come here to say ‘hello’ for somebody and I’ve got myself in this incredible predicament.” It was very Buñuelish to me at the time.”

For many years, Pádraig went on a German pilgrim train to Lourdes over Pentecost week. The first time was in 2015, just after he had been discharged the previous January from hospital and, over Easter, a relatively minor follow-up operation. We arrived at the Diepholz train station by car which I had collected from friends in Dublin the previous day. At the time, Pádraig had a PEG. It was the very first time that he joined a large group of people. Travelling and socialising. It was magic. For all of us. Because we had been told by many that none of this would ever happen to him. We all kept trying.

Last night was the final of the Eurovision song contest. Ireland (Maps) didn’t make it, Germany (I dont feel hate) tried to be cheerful but you know how German cheerfulness can go down. I liked the classy French entry. In the end (“Rock’n Roll Will Never Die”), the Italian song took the night, France came second. Not the typical Eurovision entry, in Italian, and super cool. “Make some noise!”

Overall, the Eurovision won. It’s 65 years old and still rocking. They keep trying.

So do the #IronMonth participants whose last week is coming up.

Please keep supporting the participants.

Is it worth to keep trying? Trying to be good? Even when we speak (or sing) different languages? Or don’t understand what we are saying even when we do speak the same language?

Pentecost is about understanding each other, no matter what language we speak, or what background we come from, as long as we take a load off Fanny and put the load right on us.

Share the burden. Together celebrate our achievements. Have a bit of fun.

German cheerfulness (or jokes for that matter) will never travel that well, the Brits got “zéro point”, France were chique, and Italy won with a classic rock’n roll song in Italian.

Let’s keep trying to be good. We might fail many times.

One day we will succeed. Our Day Will Come.