Renew us Lord with Your Spirit!
Readings: 1st: Acts 2: 1-11; Ps: 103: 24-34; 2nd: 1 Cor 12: 3-7.12-12; Gos: Jn 20: 19-23
This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
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.
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From the first reading of this Sunday, we see the reward of obedience and steadfastness in prayer. Therefore, today we celebrate a great feast, when Christ fulfilled his promise to us. As Christs disciples, every true believer has been empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the mutual love of the Father and the Son. He empowers us to go into our world to bring peace, unity, joy, love and salvation to nations.
In the second reading of today, Paul makes a very important statement: “No one can say Jesus is Lord, except through the Holy Spirit.” This means that, it is God himself that enables us to recognize and accept the lordship of Christ through the Holy Spirit.
Due to pride, it is difficult for Satan to acknowledge and accept the lordship of Christ. To say “Jesus is Lord” is to humble oneself. It means to accept Christ as the Lord and Savior of one’s life. Truly, this is only possible through the spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit.
In the gospel, Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit upon his disciples in order to restore their peace and to free them from the slavery of fear. Christ knew that the Holy Spirit empowers and liberates. So, the Spirit we have received, “is not the spirit of fear and timidity, but the Spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Tim 1:7)
According to our 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. Through them, we become bold to call God our Father (Rom 8:15), and above all, to proclaim to our world that, Jesus Christ is Lord. Also, the Holy Spirit helps us to bear good fruits in Christ (Gal 5, 22). He leads us into the kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy.
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.
Only Him, can help us navigate the rough waters of this world. 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 our world at large. He alone can give us the right insight we need to navigate through the complex moments of this life.
In view of this, daily and prayerfully, we must pause to listen to what the Holy Spirit has to say to us 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. If He leads us, no matter how complex our world becomes, we shall never be confused. We shall always find our way forward.
Finally, rather than always walk by sight or mere instinct as many of us do today, let us walk with the Holy Spirit, our Counselor and Advocate. This is because, we shall succeed “not by power nor by might, but by my spirit, says the Lord Almighty” (Zach 4:6). So, let us humbly pray: “O Lord, send forth your spirit and renew the face of the Earth. Alleluia.”
Peace be with you!