A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
June 30, 2020
NOTES FROM DEACON PAREJA
May 20, 2017
As Jesus continues to prepare the disciples for his departure from them at His ascension, He introduces them to the third Person of the Holy Trinity: The Holy Spirit.
After the resurrection, Jesus remained with his followers for 40 days. As the time draw near for his departure Jesus comforted his grieving disciples with the promise of the coming of another advocate or supporter to replace him. This advocate was the holy spirit, who would come as a friend and comforter; one who would be a supporter for the people to give them the strength to carry on the mission of Jesus Christ in the world. The Holy Spirit ascended upon the faithful on Pentecost with the sound of a mighty rushing wind. Tongues of fire came to rest upon the people and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in foreign languages previously unknown to them. The Holy Spirit continues to be active in the world today drawing all people to Jesus Christ so that they can continue the work began by Christ’s earthly mission. If we allow the Holy Spirit to empower us, we will be able to restrain evil, to transform our world, to bring reconciliation, forgiveness and love, to share our material goods the best way we can so that the reign of God will break forth among us in a more clear and powerful way. The Holy Spirit empowers us through his many gifts. The Church teaches that we receive the gifts of the Spirit at baptism and that these gifts are strengthened at confirmation, so that we can proclaim the truths of the of our Catholic faith. Through prayer, humility and a deep desire for the things of God, we are able The gifts of the Spirit are to be used to work towards the reign of God in the world today. The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are:
1. Wisdom: to guide us in discerning God’s will
2. Understanding: gives us insights into the teachings of the Christian faith
3. Counsel: gives us the ability and knowledge of what to do in a variety of situations
4. Fortitude: gives us the strength to obey and to do God’s will at all times
5. Knowledge: gives us the ability to discern the will of God in all things
6. Piety: helps us to deepen our love for God
7. Fear of the Lord: helps us to avoid sin and to dread offending God
Just as the disciples were enriched through the grace given to them by the Holy Spirit, we too are given that same grace. The Holy Spirit remained with the disciples after his resurrection and ascension to be their advocate and supporter to carry out Jesus’ earthly mission. In a similar way, the Holy Spirit remains in all of us as we continue to bring Christ’s presence into our world today. And the Holy Spirit will remain with us until Jesus comes again.