23rd May 2021
THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS US TO BEAR GOOD FRUITS IN CHRIST
Today is Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost marks the definitive end of the Easter Season. It occupies a very important position in the Church’s life and liturgical calendar. This is because, it marks the beginning of the church’s missionary endeavor. Pentecost day is a day of renewal and empowerment of our faith.
From the first reading, we see the reward of obedience and steadfastness in prayer.
As Christ's disciples, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit. He is the gift of the Father to us, a promise that was made by Christ " I shall ask the father and he will give you another advocate to be with you forever " (Jn14:16-21). The Holy Spirit is the mutual love of the Father and the Son who makes us to belong to the family of God. We are children of God.
He empowers us to go into the whole world to bring peace, unity, joy, love and salvation to nations. With inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul makes a very important statement: “No one can say Jesus is Lord, except through the Holy Spirit" (1corinth12:3). This means that, it is God himself that enables us to recognize and accept the lordship of Christ through the Holy Spirit.
In the gospel, Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit upon his disciples to empower them. He restored their peace and freed them from the slavery of fear. Christ knew that the Holy Spirit empowers and liberates.
So, the Spirit we receive, “is not the spirit of fear and timidity, but the Spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Tim 1:7)
According to the teachings of Catechism, the Holy Spirit empowers us, makes us strong Christians and soldiers of Christ (CCC 1302). This empowerment comes through the different gifts we receive from the Holy Spirit. We have the seven major gifts (wisdom, knowledge, fortitude, understanding, counsel, piety and fear of the Lord). These major gifts are natural habits and permanent which dispose the whole person to obey the impulses of the Holy Spirit. They are found in all the baptized Christians and affects the totality of man's spirituality.
We also have extraordinary charisms also known as minor gifts, eg healing, speaking in tongues, prophecy etc. The minor gifts are temporary and sporadic. They are essentially human and they are found only in some people. We should note that every gift of the spirit is to be looked upon with admiration, to be received with gratitude and to be used with diligence.
Today, we must ask ourselves: “What does the Holy Spirit wants me to do? Where is He leading me to?” It is important to reflect on these questions especially, now that our world has become so complex, and many of us seem confused. We must pay attention to Him. We must be docile to him. We must let him lead and show us the best way. When we live faithfully the gifts of the Holy Spirit we are able to bear fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control ( Gal5:22).
The Holy Spirit, help us navigate the rough storms of life in this world. His grace keeps us moving on without giving up. Only the Holy Spirit can calm our fears and restore order to our lives. He alone can empower us to face the daily challenges of our lives, families, communities, and the world at large. He alone can give us the right insights we need to navigate through the complex moments of this life. He is our helper.
We must pause to listen to what the Holy Spirit has to say in order to know the direction he wants to lead us. Let us give him the chance to direct our lives, families, business and studies etc. If He leads us, no matter how complex our world becomes, we shall never lose hope. We shall always find a way forward.
Have a blessed Pentecost Sunday full of God's blessings.