The Descent of the Holy Spirit
by Fr. Peter deSousa
Many of us seek empowerment through accumulating money, education degrees from prestigious universities, holding important offices with large salaries, many perks, securities and retirement benefits that make life comfortable and enjoyable. But we know life will end inevitably so we also make sure that we take out an insurance policy for the next life. Maybe we recite some prayers, make some novenas or give some donations to the poor. We want to enjoy the best of both worlds.
We may call ourselves Christians as followers of a religion founded by Christ. But can we call ourselves disciples? A disciple walks in the footsteps of the master who tells us we have to lose our lives in order to find new life. When we die to ourselves as Jesus did on the cross, we are also open to be filled with his spirit whom he communicated to us, so that he might continue his mission through us. (Jn 19:30)
In Jn 20:19-22, we see how Jesus appears to his disciples when they were frightened and had locked themselves us in a room to protect themselves. He gave them the Holy Spirit. It was his Spirit leading and empowering them. Are we hiding right now in fear or guilt? Let us be open to the Holy Spirit with whom we were anointed at our Confirmation. Accept him as our Teacher, our Guide, our Helper, our Comforter, our Advocate, who prays Abba Father within us.
In Acts 2 we have an account of the first Pentecost experience and we see how the Holy Spirit empowers the apostles who had gathered in prayer with Mary to await his coming before they could go on mission. What marvels the Holy Spirit works through Paul and the apostles in the early Church to establish the Kingdom of God in so many new situations and places.
This mystery of the Rosary gives us courage and strength to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and to be his hands and voice in the world in which we live. We are not called to be part time Christians, who give God his due by reciting some pious formulae, performing some rituals or keeping the letter of laws that suit us. We are called to be disciples, apostles, who are moved and led by the Holy Spirit, to continue the mission of Jesus today, in the world in which we are planted.
We should certainly avail ourselves of all the opportunities to develop the gifts and potential God gives each one of us. Each of us is endowed by the Holy Spirit with different gifts and opportunities to build the Kingdom by the servant Church, of which we are parts of a mystical body (1 Cor 12) These gifts are not given to us to exploit others or to consider ourselves superior to others. Jesus never used his spirit-filled gifts for himself. He came that we may have life.
The fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control can neither be bought, nor acquired in a gymnasium, or through a course in the art of living. We have to die with Christ if we want to live with him forever and to live in Him right now.
Then we shall witness the marvels that the Lord works through us anew.
So let us constantly open our lives and hearts to the Holy Spirit and invite him to come and dwell and act in and through us. Amen.
E-mail this article to a friend
Copyright © Fr. Peter deSousa. All rights reserved.