Monthly Message from Fr. Timothy - July/Aug 2019
A NEVERENDING PENTECOST!
The Book of Acts [2:1-11] recounts the dramatic outpouring of the Holy Spirit on a tiny group of Christ’s followers gathered in an upper room in Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit came as wind and tongs of fire. The illustration is a painting of Pentecost by El Greco that captures the wonder of the moment. On that day, the Holy Spirit gave the followers of Christ words that moved the hearts of thousands of pilgrims to Jerusalem who came “from every nation under heaven”. Imagine, these pilgrims hearing the message of the Apostles in their own native languages; Greek, Latin, Coptic, Syriac, Arabian, Geez, Armenian and so many other tongues.
If we are looking for a renewal—from the death of sin to the life of grace, from the death of the body to the body’s glorious resurrection then we can find it in the Holy Spirit. This is why we ask God to “send forth Your spirit” [Psalm 140:30] so we can be recreated, the way spring renews the face of the earth. Although we are free to go back to our old way of living “according to the flesh” if we want to, by Baptism we have the Holy Spirit and can live according to God’s will if we choose to do that.
The Holy Spirit makes us adopted children of God, sons and daughters who really are His heirs and who can call on the Father the way Christ did: “Abba, Father.”We are not slaves of God, who must fearfully submit to Him, but His children whom He loves. And what is the inheritance we will receive as his sons and daughters? It is to have glorified eternal life with Christ. Christ’s promise that He and the Father will come to the Christian and make their dwelling with us is precisely the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who teaches us all that we ever really need to know. The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to love, including the ability to love Christ by keeping his commandments and living our lives according to the Gospel.
God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit [Rom 5:5]. The Holy Spirit gives us the gift of divine love, the ability to love as God loves us. This love is the very life of the Blessed Trinity. This ability to love is the “power” proper to Christians. From this power to love grows the fruits of the Holy Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” [Gal. 5:22]
Something concrete which is always useful is to memorize, understand, and pray with faith a verbal prayer to the Holy Spirit such as this one:
“O Heavenly King, the Comforter, and the Spirit of Truth, who art in all places and fillest all things, Treasury of blessings and giver of life: come and dwell in us, cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O gracious Lord.”
This prayer calls to mind the fundamental things the Holy Spirit gives us: comfort, truth, fulfillment, blessings, life, renewal and salvation. We can say this prayer any time, and we should say it often and especially before beginning any task; work, study, reading, recreation etc. It is our way of dealing with the Holy Spirit personally and of keeping Pentecost alive, ongoing, and never-ending.
Blessings, Fr +Timothy
The Priority of the Holy Spirit
Without the Holy Spirit, God is far away,
Christ stays in the past,
the Gospel is a dead letter,
the Church is simply an organization,
authority a matter of propaganda,
the liturgy no more than an evocation,
Christian living a slave morality.
But with the Holy Spirit:
The cosmos is resurrected and groans with
the birth-pangs of the Kingdom,
the risen Christ is there,
the Gospel is the power of life,
the Church shows forth life in the Trinity,
authority is a liberating service,
mission is a Pentecost
the Liturgy is both memorial and anticipation,
human action is deified.