Saturday, May 27, 2017

How much do you desire and pray for the Holy Spirit?

"All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers."  (Acts 1: 14 NABRE)

Before the Ascension of Jesus, He instructed His own not to leave Jerusalem but to pray and wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit.  In the Upper Room, the Apostles, Mary and some women huddled together in prayer as they waited for the Holy Spirit to come as promised by Jesus.

Today is Ascension Sunday, (transferred from Thursday for pastoral reasons). Today is exactly one week to the Solemnity of Pentecost.  The Holy Spirit is the dominant theme of the Scripture readings and prayers this coming week.  We shall focus today on the gift of Courage, one of the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

"The Spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit, but rather one that makes us strong, loving and wise." 
(1 Timothy 1:7)

"Goethe, the eminent German philosopher once said, "Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid." Norman Vincent Peale agreed: "Boldness is the activator of power from the mind."

The Holy Spirit is the Source of inspiration, power and boldness.
Pray for the gift of courage and boldness.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give you.

"Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.   Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete."   (John 16: 23 - 24 NABRE).

Do you know the pure joy of answered prayer? In my opinion, there is nothing as delightful as the happiness you feel when your prayer is answered.

In this Season of Easter which will end on June 4th with the Solemnity of Pentecost, every Christian has the opportunity to experience the in-filling of the Holy Spirit.  The Novena of the Holy Spirit started today, Friday, the 26th of May. It is not too late to join.  If you google Pentecost Novena, you will find many to satisfy every taste.

The Holy Spirit is the Abundant life that Jesus spoke about in John 10: 10.  In our key Scripture today,  (John 16: 23 - 24) Jesus promises to fulfill any request made to the Father in His name. In Luke 11: 13, Jesus made this astonishing statement:

"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"  (Luke 11: 13).

Ask for the Holy Spirit and experience the pure joy of answered prayer and thereafter enjoy Abundant life.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

No one can take this joy from you.

"When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world."  (John 16: 21 NABRE)

Christian hope never fails.
"Such hope [in God’s promises] never disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."  (Romans 5: 5 AMP)

Patience obtains all things.
"Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains."  (James 5: 7).
See how the pregnant woman waits patiently for 9 months for her due date.

So if you weep and mourn while the world rejoices, know without a doubt that your grief will become joy.  (John 16: 20).

And no one can take away your great joy. (John 16: 22)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Behold I am with you always.

"I, the LORD, am with you always, until the end of the world."  (Matthew 28: 20 RM)

You may call the above Scripture the gift of the Presence.  How do we experience here and now the Presence of Jesus?  Let us consider a few of the modes of the Presence of Jesus.

#1.  Through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
#2.  Through the word of God. When the Gospel is proclaimed during the Eucharistic Liturgy, the Church teaches that Jesus Himself is speaking to His people. 
#3.  We experience Jesus when we receive Him in the Eucharist. In the Eucharist, Jesus is truly present, Body, Soul and Divinity.
#4. We experience the Presence of Jesus in the poor.   When you do some favor to the least of Jesus' brothers and sisters, you do it for Jesus. (Matthew 25: 40)

At the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is named Emmanuel, a name that means God with us. (Matthew 1: 23).  At the end of the Gospel, Jesus promises His disciples the gift of His Presence.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Father will give you another Advocate to be with you always.

"But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth."  (John 16: 13 NABRE).

Has the Spirit of truth guided the Church to all truth? Absolutely.  Let us consider five of these truths:

#1.  The Creed:  The Fathers of the Church met in 325 AD in Nicaea to hammer out the main doctrines of the Church.  The Holy Spirit was at work in the Council.
#2.  The Cross.  No cross. No crown. (Luke 24: 26).
#3.  Prayer is a vital necessity. (Luke 18: 1).
#4.  Eucharist:  "Take and eat; this is my body."  (Matthew 26: 26; Mark 14: 22; Luke 22: 19; 1 Corinthians 11: 24) And then, "Do this in memory of me."
#5.  The Four Last Things:  Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell. (CCC  1021  -  1022, etc)

"Stir into flame the gift of God that you have through  the imposition of my hands.” (1 Timothy 1: 6)

The Solemnity of Pentecost is June 4, 2017.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.

 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.”   So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house.... "  then he and all his family were baptized at once."  (Acts 16: 30 - 32, 33 NABRE).

"I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart, for  you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; I will worship at your holy temple, and give thanks to your name."  (Psalm 138: 1 - 2)

"The LORD will complete what he has done for me; your kindness, O LORD, endures forever."  (Psalm 138:  7 - 8)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

I will bear witness to You in the world O Lord.

 “When the Advocate comes whom I will send  you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.    And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning."  (John 15: 26 NABRE).

Jesus says that His disciples will testify to Him.  Testify = Witness.  Are you ready for this?
First, how do we testify to Jesus?
By our life and by words.  A couple of days ago, we saw a picture of the character of Jesus through the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit.  If you apply those fruits in your daily life, you witness to Jesus.  And people notice.

Your lifestyle no matter how perfect it is, may never be enough to close the deal. You must add a critical ingredient.  Words!  "So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ."  (Romans 10: 17 NLT).  Yes indeed. You must share the Good News that is Jesus.

The Apostle Peter nails in the argument.  Your friends and neighbors notice the peace and joy in your life and wonder why and how.   "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."  (1 Peter 3: 15).