A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
June 30, 2020
May 29, 2020
Welcome Holy Spirit! The Liturgical Season of Easter in the Catholic Church comes to an end as we have celebrated the Ascension of Jesus and this Sunday joyfully receive the promised Advocate; the Holy Spirit – God who will be with us for all time. Many in our Church refer to Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Twelve, as the birthday of the Church.
Not the Church we know today, but the infant Church that began as those first disciples stepped out of the upper room and traveled in all directions preaching the Good News of the Risen Christ. Jesus had promised he would remain with them, sending a guide, a helper that they might continue the work that he had begun, He sent them, “Go forth and baptize all nations.” We can imagine it to be a troubling time for the disciples following the physical departure of Jesus; still so uncertain of their future, and perhaps feeling a bit abandoned by their Teacher. It is certain, their lives were going to be very different going forward, they would come to know a “new normal.” Strengthen by their faith in Jesus, they received the Holy Spirit openly and were immediately prompted to begin the ministry of preaching the Gospel and baptizing God’s people. Strength was just one of the gifts they received. Our
Church teaches seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Right Judgement, Knowledge, Fortitude, Piety and Reverence or Awe and Wonder. As we complete our full initiation into the Church and receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit upon our being confirmed, we are gifted with all we need to live as followers of Christ and by our faith in Jesus, we know his presence in our lives. In our shared experience of living with a world-wide pandemic, we too might be feeling abandoned by God, uncertain of our future and perhaps not so enthusiastic about the “new normal” that seems to be headed our way. What we can be certain of and what can give us hope beyond measure is that God is with us, always. How important it is that we continue to develop our lives of prayer that we might draw closer to Jesus Christ and that we too might be prompted to move forward strengthened by the knowledge that the Holy Spirit is with us every step of the way! Let us take time this week to think about the presence of God in our lives. Which of the seven gifts can you identify in your life? Which gift would you like to pursue? Ask the Holy Spirit in prayer to enrich your life by helping you to understand how to use the gifts sent from God. As Christians we develop our faith throughout our lives, we grow closer to God as we not only receive and acknowledge his gifts, but when we engage and nurture them. As we develop those gifts in our lives, they bear fruit, the fruits of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-control and Chastity. For all of these, let us thank our God. And let us pray: Come Holy Spirit!