THEME: FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
SOLEMN FEAST OF PENTECOST
On the day of Pentecost all the disciples in the Upper Room were filled with the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit fills us, He enables us in many ways. In this reflection, however, we will focus on what St. Luke tells us about what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
TO BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT:
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, He may enable us to:
- Receive divine knowledge or revelation like St. Elizabeth (Luke 1:41-44);
- Praise God like Zechariah (Luke 1:67-79);
- Prophesy like Zechariah (Luke 1:67-79);
- Have victory over evil like Jesus Christ (Luke 4:1);
- Faithfully and successfully execute our mission like Jesus (Acts 10:37-38);
- Speak in foreign tongues like the apostles and disciples (Acts 2:4);
- Proclaim boldly like the disciples (Acts 2:1-11);
- Defend our faith with courage and wisdom like St. Peter and the others (Acts 4:8);
- Be a true witness of Christ like St. Paul (Acts 9:17);
- Endure persecution like St. Paul and the disciples (Acts 13:52);
- Render faithful service to the Church like the first seven deacons (Acts 6:3);
- Receive grace, faith and other gifts like St. Stephen (Acts 6:5-10); and
- Be holy and have an ecstatic experience like St. Stephen (Acts 7:55-60).
In short, then, to be filled with the Spirit is to exhibit some of the gifts and fruit of the Spirit. Generally, one person cannot have all the gifts, but he/she is expected to bear all the virtues of the fruit of the Spirit: ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness/humility and self-control’(Gal. 5:22-23).
HOW TO BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT
As a vehicle cannot run without fuel, so the Christian cannot operate without the Holy Spirit. He is the fuel for our Spiritual Life. We receive our initial fueling by the Holy Spirit at Baptism; and we have a special re-fueling at Confirmation. But as a vehicle has to be fueled regularly, so the Christian needs the constant re-filling by the Holy Spirit. The fueling or re-fueling is a free gift from the Spirit of God, but we need to clean our spiritual ‘fuel tanks’ and we need to have a spiritual ‘fuel dispenser’ (or hose) in place. We clean our ‘fuel tanks’ through repentance and Confession; and the following make up our ‘fuel dispenser’: the sacraments, prayer, fasting, works of charity, worship, devotion, reading and mediating on the Word of God, good moral life, etc….
Beloved, let us renew our commitment to clean our spiritual ‘fuel tanks’ and to keep our spiritual ‘fuel dispenser’ in good shape. With this, may we enjoy the abundant re-fueling by the Holy Spirit this Pentecost and beyond, amen!
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis