Thursday, April 21, 2011

The King and His Kingdom

“Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed them in a loud voice…..On the contrary, this is what the prophet was saying: In the Last days – the Lord declares – I shall pour out my Spirit on all humanity. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young people shall see visions, your old people dream dreams….” ( Acts 2: 14 – 21)
We see in the above scripture the prophecy and fulfillment of one of the most important prophecies in the Old Testament. I am currently reading The Teachings of the Church Fathers, by John Willis, SJ. I am surprised to see how the Church Fathers used prophecy and fulfillment in defending the person and work of Jesus Christ as Son of God and Son of Mary. God promised humanity the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in various passages in the Old Testament. He delivered on this promise in a mighty way on the day of Pentecost.
In the scriptures, the Spirit is known by many names: Spirit of power, Spirit of wisdom and knowledge, spirit of prophecy and so on. I like to refer to the Holy Spirit as Spirit of ministry. It is only through the Spirit that we can use our gifts in the service of God. Using our gifts in the service of God is exercising our ministry. Recently I witnessed the enlargement of my ministry. For a number of years, I exercised the ministry of lector and catechist. It pleased the Lord to enlarge my field by adding recently Sanctuary service to my ministry. Sanctuary service is a ministry I exercised before I was ten years old. At various times and places, I had been called upon to exercise Sanctuary service. That the call should come to me again at this point in my life is both mysterious and fulfilling. I can only thank God for His mercies.
The Spirit’s power in our live can be compared to electricity. We see the various effects of electricity but not electricity itself. Electricity is designed to be used not touched or seen. The Holy Spirit provides me with power to accomplish my ministry in the great program called the Kingdom of God. Kingdom (Basileia in Greek) means rule or authority. Where the King is, there is His kingdom. The King is Jesus Christ. When we pray to the Father “thy kingdom come,” we mean the establishment of the rule and authority of King Jesus at all times and everywhere. If this rule and authority of Jesus Christ is established fully in my heart and mind, then I can help through my ministry to bring it about in the hearts and minds of people whom the Lord places on my path.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Power to express themselves....

“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak different languages as the Spirit gave them power to express themselves.” (Acts 2: 4)
• Filled with the Holy Spirit
• Spirit and power
• Spirit and tongues
• Spirit and gifts
The disciples in the Upper Room were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to manifest at once. They had prepared themselves with prayer. They were expecting. The visible signs of the outpouring of the Spirit made them realize that this is indeed the hour of the promised Gift.
I affirm that God is a good communicator. It is impossible to miss His message or signal. On 122108, I asked the Father a point blank question. The desire to serve Jesus in a special way that has been with me for over twelve years, should I forget about it or is there something to it? The answer came in one word: WAIT. Fast forward. 0311, I entered the Sanctuary service. I asked the Lord to anoint me mightily with power to express myself in this new ministry. I nalso asked the question: Is this the Father’s answer to my question of 1208? If it is, I am very happy with this. My whole life has pointed to Sanctuary service right from the age of seven. Many years ago, I took notice of men who served in the Sanctuary and I liked what they did. The only problem was that they were all retired. I said to myself that when I am retired I too would like to serve the Lord in the Sanctuary for the rest of my life. Is this the moment?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Power to bear witness

“It is not for you to know times and dates that the Father has decided by his own authority, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1: 7-7)
“I have chosen you from the world to go and bear fruit that will last.” (John 15: 16, 19)
“I will bear a witness to you in the world, O Lord. I will spread the knowledge of your name among my brothers, alleluia!” (Psalm 17: 50:; 21: 23)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wait for what the Father had promised

“When he had been at table with them, he had told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for what the Father had promised. ‘It is,’ he had said, ‘what you have heard me speak about: John baptized with water but you, not many days from now, will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1: 4-5)
What was the apostles to wait for? - The Holy Spirit
Where were they to wait? – Jerusalem
How long were they to wait? – “Not many days from now.” That is to say, “ten days.”
How were they to wait? – In prayer.

The above scripture, Acts 1: 4-5 is full of types and shadows. About the time I confided the reflection on this passage to my journal in January 1998, a friend I met in a Houston area library said to me: “We are all waiting for something.” The statement struck me to be very true. Some are waiting to be healed from the sickness, while others are waiting to see a doctor to start receiving their treatment. Some are waiting to get a job. Others are waiting to proceed to retirement. There are people waiting to get married. There are others waiting to end their marriage and get on with their lives.
Jesus Christ talks about a special waiting in Acts 1: 4-5. It is a waiting for a very special gift, God’s best and greatest gift to man. The promise of the Holy Spirit long foretold in the Old Testament and immediately by Jesus is about to be fulfilled. Whenever we receive a special guest, we prepare for him carefully. The house is cleaned and everything is set right. The disciples of Jesus were instructed to stay in Jerusalem and precisely in the Upper Room to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. They were to be closeted in retreat with the Blessed Virgin Mary to wait for this historic and momentous event.