Pentecost

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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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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Empowered by the Spirit – First Reading of the Fourth Week of Easter

Empowered by the Spirit – First Reading of the Fourth Week of Easter

From start to finish in this amazing event we are meant to realize that the cause behind every startling effect that day was the one ingredient seemingly absent only the day before: the Holy Spirit, the very Spirit of the Living God dwelling in them and active among them. It is the Spirit who empowered Peter and inspired him with the right words to say; it is the Spirit who pierced the hearts of the listeners; and it is the Spirit who influenced so many to respond. The Spirit was the active agent who took previously inert ingredients and produced nothing short of an explosion. And, as we read through the rest of Acts, this is only the beginning! Many have said the book we call Acts of the Apostles might better be called “The Acts of the Holy Spirit”. Perhaps, even better, “The Holy Spirit Explosion”.

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