Pentecost 2011 Reflection
Based on the readings from: Acts 2:1-11; 1 Corinthians 12: 3-13, Psalm 103, John20:19-23; also John15:26-67; 16:12-15
By Rev. Robert Johnnene OFD
Mission Saints Sergius & Bacchus/ Franciscans Divine Mercy
Veni, Sancte Spiritus Come, Holy Spirit, Come
“No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ unless he is under the influence of the Holy Spirit” (. 1 Corinthians 12:3) “In the one Spirit we were all baptized, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)
“Come, Holy Spirit, come! And from your celestial home shed a ray of light divine!” with these words the beautiful prayer to the Holy Spirit, VENI, SANCTE SPIRITUS, begins. The feast of Pentecost is also called the Birthday of the church because it celebrates the decent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles after which they were heard by people of every race and nationality to be proclaiming the truth of Jesus teachings in the language of the listener.
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells us “No one can say, Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit” It is in this letter that one of the most redeeming passages of scripture can be found. Paul informs us “everyone has different gifts bestowed on them by God through the Holy Spirit.” He goes on to affirm that there “Different forms of service, but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces them all. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit” “For in one Spirit we were all Baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greek, slave of free person, we were all given to drink of the one Spirit”
The Gospel admonishes us to “Receive the Holy Spirit”.
It is the Holy Spirit that guides and inspires us, just as it inspired those who wrote the scriptures. The Holy Spirit is a living Spirit, Through the gifts of the Holy Spirit we are assisted in refraining from behavior that is displeasing to Almighty God and separate us from Him.
To elaborate on how we might possibly cause ourselves to be separated from God and the Gifts He freely gives us through the Holy Spirit would take more time than we have and would really require a series of Reflections but essentially we separate ourselves by giving in to the temptations of the Seven Deadly Sins. Each of these “Desires of the Flesh” or deadly sins affords us many ways of sinning. They are human faults that every individual has; our task is to try our best to resist their lure.
One thing that I personally can attest to is that, if we call upon God daily, or as many times as we need to in order to resist the temptations that plague us every day, and ask Almighty God to send us the Holy Spirit, God will oblige. One of my daily prayers begins with “Come, Holy Spirit, fill my heart and kindle in in me the fire of your love so that I might be renewed”
In John 16: we are promised, “The Spirit will guide you to all truth. The spirit will not speak on its own, but will speak what he hears from me and declare it to you”
The truth is that God is a merciful, loving, forgiving and compassionate God. God is always there awaiting your call to Him. He does not have an answering machine, voice mail, or a secretary. He always listens to what we are saying and will respond to us according to what He feels is best for us. God always answers our prayers, just not always in the way we want. Many times God actually comes to us and speaks to us in our dreams, or quiet times and even sometimes while driving a car, listening to the I pod, watching TV or playing ball.
Unfortunately, often we are too preoccupied to listen to what he is telling us through the Holy Spirit.
I suggest that the time is NOW for us to begin to be more receptive to those calls from God. Don’t put Him on hold, but take a break from whatever we are engaged in and listen with an open and receptive heart.
We need to allow ourselves to “Receive The Holy Spirit” so that we can begin to develop a deeper and closer relationship with Almighty God and thereby begin the elimination of the “Desires of the Flesh” that have prevented us from receiving all the gifts of The Spirit, Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. AMEN
A Prayer to The Holy Spirit
By Father Robert Johnnene OFD
O Most Holy Spirit, merciful Comforter; Come, I beseech You, and take up abode in my heart. Let my weaknesses be penetrated with your strength, so that I may always do what is right and just. Fill my heart with charity toward all I encounter. Enlighten me in my ignorance, advise me in my doubts.
Purify and cleanse me of all sin and sanctify my soul, protecting and shielding me from the temptations that plague me. Make me truly humble that I may be pleasing to Almighty God. Instill within me an honest respect of Almighty God and for all of his creations. Assist me to be an instrument of God's Word to all I encounter. Give unto me the gift of Wisdom to know and live according to God’s will. By your generous bestowing of your gifts, help me to live a holy life and grow in the everlasting love of Christ so that I may join with all the heavenly elect when my days here on earth are ended.
I ask this through Jesus Christ, my redeemer and savior, who lives and reigns with you our creator, Almighty God, as one triune God, now and forever. AMEN