MONDAY, SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER
Acts 19: 1-8; Ps 68: 2-7; Jn 16: 29-33
THE POWER WITHIN
In the first reading, we hear a mention made of the two great sacraments: Baptism (in the name of Jesus) and Confirmation (by the power of the Holy Spirit). Paul stresses that these are essential for the authentic Christian life. More than following a standard of moral conduct (signified by the baptism of repentance), what matters is the personal encounter with the person of Jesus and the life-giving Holy Spirit, through whom we would be led to the Father. Without this personal ‘Encounter’ they would continue to grapple with darkness. In the Gospel too, we see Jesus predicting the scattering of His disciples, due to fear of suffering and persecution, as they had still not been strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit who would come at ‘Pentecost’. Only this personal encounter with the mighty spirit would help them to recognize and make their own the power of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit invites the disciples into a ‘Body’ of love & unity. He does not act alone, individually in them, but draws them together in faith. In these times it comes as a timely reminder to us. We often face the temptation of living our faith alone – the availability of online preachers and spiritual resources. As much as these are great helps to living our Christian lives, providing a stimulus to growth, we still need a personal, physical fellowship with each other in the Church, for it is here the Holy Spirit is most active. In the first reading we see how God acts in us through stages: John’s baptism, baptism in Jesus, Paul laying hands on them, Coming of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, etc. Are we ready to progress to a new stage in life?
“We must be careful to free our hearts from everything that might get in the way of the pure love of our beloved Jesus. He is love itself, and wants to give himself to us through love. Jesus is calling us all the time –how long are we going to remain deaf to his voice” – Saint Jaochina De Vedruna
Response: You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God.
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