Holy Spirit

Forgiven and Empowered – Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

Forgiven and Empowered – Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

In other words, when we come to faith and are baptized something really happens to us. We are not just forgiven and sent on our way to try to do better. Rather, we are truly freed from the grip of sin and empowered to live the life to which we are called. This, of course, is not to say that in the face of long habit within and allure or coercion without that it will be easy. It is not to say that we will not on many occasions fail. Rather, it is to say that failure is not final and success is sure if we but persevere and continually surrender ourselves to God’s grace.

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An Inexpressible Gift – Second Reading in Preparation for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

An Inexpressible Gift – Second Reading in Preparation for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“One of Paul’s favorite analogies to describe the relationship with God that we gain through baptism is adoption…What I love about this analogy is what it reveals to us about the type of interaction that God wants to have with us. He does not interact to us as a master to his servants, nor does he relate to us as an aloof king to his subjects. He reacts to us precisely in the way the best father in the world would interact with each of his children: with a unique love for each and every one of us in which he cares about absolutely every aspect of our lives. Nothing is too small or great to take to our daddy.”

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The Requirement of Love – Gospel in Preparation for Pentecost

The Requirement of Love – Gospel in Preparation for Pentecost

This requirement creates no small amount of anxiety in me since the level of my love–at least the level shown by my obedience–is far less than I would wish or than He deserves. Nevertheless, I am not to worry, for he who made the promises wants to fulfill them in my life even more than I want them fulfilled. If I cooperate, He will make a way. He will meet me where I am and the Holy Spirit…will help me to grow in love, and so growing in love, grow also in my realization of his presence here and in my confidence of being with him in heaven.

As we cooperate with him, he wants us to rest in the firm assurance that one day we shall live with him and that until that day He will live every day with us. We are not to worry; he is faithful that promised.

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Empowered to Serve – Second Reading in Preparation for Pentecost

Empowered to Serve – Second Reading in Preparation for Pentecost

Why then do so many Christians lack the evidence of his presence and work? It is not because the Spirit is not there and eager to work, but because we must be willing participants in all he wants to do. We must be willing and eager to cooperate with His grace for it to have effect. To be “Full of the Holy Spirit” was never, as I once heard a wise man say, a question of how much of the Holy Spirit we have, but rather how much of us has He got.

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The Love that Makes Man Fully Alive – First Reading in Preparation for Pentecost

The Love that Makes Man Fully Alive  – First Reading in Preparation for Pentecost

You see, so often we’re afraid that if we surrender to God, if we allow his Spirit to have full reign in our hearts we will become diminished versions of ourselves, or we will somehow be forced to live a lessened version of our lives. But not only is this impossible—how could we ever be diminished by surrendering to the Spirit of the One who is Life and Love Himself?—but it is simply contradicted by the lives of every man and every woman who has ever taken the plunge ands surrendered all that they have to God…Each of these men and women became more themselves, more alive, more radiant—not less—the more they surrendered to God, and their lives left an indelible mark on the world whose effects can still be felt today.

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The Highest Honor Imaginable – Second Reading in Preparation for the First Week in Ordinary Time

The Highest Honor Imaginable – Second Reading in Preparation for the First Week in Ordinary Time

This argument of Paul’s is fascinating to me. Confronted with the immorality of the Corinthians, Paul did not simply condemn the practice and warn them of God’s displeasure. That’s what I would have done. Rather, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he gave them an understanding of themselves that should make immorality unthinkable. They were those who had sold themselves into the slavery of sin and death and had been rescued at great cost to the very one they had rebelled against . They owed him their lives. His willingness to claim their lives, though, was not to make them slaves but to give them the highest honor imaginable, to become living temples of the living God: “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 2:27)

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A Spirit of Peace and Love – Gospel of Pentecost Sunday

A Spirit of Peace and Love – Gospel of Pentecost Sunday

Notably the peace he offers them does not entail the absence of conflict or turmoil. The same threat of danger and death facing them just moments prior still faces them now and will only increase in the days, weeks and years ahead as they carry out their mission to make disciples in all the world. No, the peace Jesus offers them is something far deeper and greater. It is the shalom of God, the presence of wholeness, harmony and well-being for which we were all made but have lost through sin.
This peace cannot be found by the avoidance of conflict or in the pursuit of paths with little or no resistance. To the contrary, this peace was obtained by the very violence and struggle to which the wounds in Jesus’ hands and side bear witness, for it is a peace that comes only from a reconciled relationship with God.

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The Gifts of God’s Spirit – Second Reading of Pentecost Sunday

The Gifts of God’s Spirit – Second Reading of Pentecost Sunday

So often we hear the words “my God-given talents” but do not see those talents being used in devotion to Him who gave them! Quite simply, God has given each of us a unique means through which we can serve him and most fully bring life to his Church, and it is Holy Spirit who bestows these gifts upon us. It is important to note however, that “Charisms are given as personal gifts but not merely for private benefit. They unite us with the Spirit’s mission to build up all members of the Church and bring them to salvation.”

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The Spirit of Fulfillment – First Reading of Pentecost Sunday

The Spirit of Fulfillment – First Reading of Pentecost Sunday

It was on this day that God fulfilled the promise to “pour out his Spirit on all flesh”. From that day, all who are baptized into Christ can count on the living presence of God to be in them and with them. This is wonderful and glorious news for, as Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches…apart from me, you can do nothing”. But with Him? As Paul says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me!” (Php.4:13).

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The Promises of God – Gospel of the Sixth Week of Easter

The Promises of God – Gospel of the Sixth Week of Easter

Both of these promises are for everyone, for everyone is invited to put their trust in him. However, the promises are able to be fulfilled only in those who love him: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father and He will…” give you another Counselor, to be with you forever. Note that the love required is not mere affection or sentimentality, but obedience. William Barclay wrote correctly, “”To John there is only one test of love and that is obedience. It was by obedience that Jesus showed his love for God ; and it is by our obedience that we must show our love for Jesus”.”

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