Luke’s Gospel recounts how Jesus taught and drove out demons with “authority and power.” This is the grace that we call upon today as we follow the Lord to face the challenges of our lives.
The Holy Spirit comes upon the disciples, empowering and transforming them with grace. May we call upon the gift of the Spirit in our lives today, embracing the gifts we have received and sharing them in the world.
Study: Where in my life have I experienced God’s grace and strength?
Pray: What particular needs in my life call for the help of the Holy Spirit?
Serve: Where can I use the gifts God has given me to serve another right now?
The image St. Paul uses in the 2nd reading this weekend is a body. Composed of different parts which do unique and special functions, the body is united when all the parts come together. So, too, all of us are united into the Body of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Look at these themes from Pentecost Mass Readings of the Day:
In other words, the Holy Spirit unites people, renews life, provides unique gifts, and is granted to the Church by Christ. This is the day that the disciples were empowered to continue the mission of Jesus; filled with the Spirit they will witness the Good News of the Lord through their words and actions.
Their example becomes our model. The same Spirit that changed their lives comes to us. The same Spirit that gave them the grace and strength to go forth gives us the power we need to offer our lives for Christ. God continues to invite us to serve, and the Lord pours forth the Holy Spirit to help us carry out the work of this day.
Are there barriers in our life? Come Holy Spirit!
Are there parts of life in need of renewal? Come Holy Spirit!
Are there gifts we have that need to be used and directed? Come Holy Spirit!
Jesus freely gave the gift of the Spirit to his disciples – may we turn to the Lord with conviction that as we call for the Holy Spirit in our lives we will be given what we need for the work of this day.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
V. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Note: This post was first published on May 29, 2017.
Study: Reflect on a time when you encountered a difficult experience. Where did you find your strength?
Pray: Ask for the Holy Spirit to help you, especially to unite with others in challenging situations.
Serve: How can you help foster unity in your life? What can you do to bring people together?
It can be somewhat confusing to know what readings to follow – depending on the day and the options available a person can hear a number of different Scripture readings this weekend. Stepping back for a moment, however, we can tease out some major themes that surface on this important feast of the Church:
In many respects this feast marks the birthday of the Church. The disciples, having watched the Lord ascend to Heaven, are now “on their own” to carry out the Good News of Christ. The point, of course, is that they are not alone! Filled with the Holy Spirit their hearts are transformed and their lives forever changed. They have become willing instruments empowered by the Spirit to speak and act for the glory of God. They don’t look anything like their former selves – timid, fearful, and self-serving; they now fearlessly engage the world with the conviction that Jesus is Lord.
And as they are strengthened by the Spirit one sign increasingly becomes apparent – the unity of believers as a self evident sign that God’s grace is at work. Several approaches underscore this sense of unity:
Language, cooperation, fruitfulness, and forgiveness are all hallmarks of the Spirit’s presence in our lives. All are crucial and take an enormous amount of effort – supported by the POWER of the Holy Spirit!
Is there a place in our lives today that would benefit from unity? Are there relationships and situations that require healing and strength to grow? Do we recognize circumstances (perhaps beyond our control) that cry out for the Lord’s intervention? If so, then we can confidently turn to the Spirit for the grace we need to face what lies before us.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth. O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit did instruct the hearts of the faithful , grant that by the same Spirit we may be truly wise, and ever rejoice in his consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen!
Note: This post was first published on May 19, 2015.
After casting out a demon, Jesus responds to criticism with a teaching that illustrates the power and unity that flow from the Kingdom of God. It’s a good reminder for us today, for when we are united in Christ then we have the strength we need to face the evil in our lives.
When Jesus heals Bartimaeus, he does more than simply offer him sight. An encounter with Christ brings us into a direct experience of God’s grace and power; how we respond reveals our recognition of the many ways we see the Lord at work in our lives today.
The disciples return to Jesus with joy as they acknowledge his power at work in their ministry. This power continues today whenever we open our hearts to the grace of Jesus Christ.