Come, Holy Spirit!
Wednesday in the 6th Week of Easter, May 17th Gospel Reflection
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Several months ago, I was at the Diocesan Youth Conference as a chaperone. This weekend-long event consisted of youth-targeted skits and games, praise and worship, adoration, Mass and break-out sessions. Each day the youth and chaperones could pick from several break-out sessions which appealed to them. The break-out session that I selected (as did many of the youth) was on the Holy Spirit and was led by our parish’s former seminarian-turned priest, Father Anthony.
As I walked in, I was surprised to see an old family friend, Austin, working on the tech helping Father Anthony get ready. He was the former Director of Evangelization at our parish before taking a position across the state as the Catholic Campus Minister at a large university. Our families were all in “spiritual cahoots” (if you will) growing, praying, encouraging and mentoring each other in the faith. It was a joyful reunion!
As Father Anthony was about to start, Austin asked that I join him and another priest in praying over Father Anthony. It took me aback for a moment, because Catholics aren’t the type to “pray over” anyone. Having spent time as a Protestant and being raised by a Holy Spirit-infused mother, I placed my hand on Father Anthony’s shoulder and Austin began to pray. All of a sudden, like a rushing wind, my soul filled with fire and flowed through me and into him. It was a Pentecost moment. It was an early-Church moment.
The break-out session went as planned as did the subsequent time of prayer where the students could come up and have someone pray with them – which I was also asked to participate. It was a life-altering moment for me. One that trickled into a friendship several weeks later. As iron sharpens iron, Jess and I share like-minds when it comes to the Holy Spirit. She needed to go for a walk and so did I. We hashed out some issues we were working through, and she got on the topic of healing. Something had been tugging at her heart about the gift of healing. In that moment I stopped her, and I said, “You have a gift and I need to be healed of anger. Pray over me.” She was like, “What?!” And I’m like, “Put your hands on me and pray over me, woman!” She started praying and again, like a fire, her words penetrated me and burned through the anger I was harboring over a situation of which I had no control.
Not two weeks after that, I got an email from Father Anthony asking me to participate in a Healing Service that will be occurring at his parish on June 1st. There are several sessions prior to this called “The Upper Room” of which I will be in attendance with my friend Jess on Thursday. From what I’ve been told, there were two hundred people who signed up for last Thursday’s teaching session and four hundred people showed up.
That being said: There is a movement happening. The movement is that the lay faithful are starting to understand their baptismal anointing of Priest, Prophet, and King. They are understanding that they are loved by a good God who wants to give good gifts to His faithful to further His kingdom. Just as Paul stood up in the Areopagus, just as Peter and John gave “not gold and silver,” we too are called out.
“To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.” (I Cor 12:7-11)
I challenge you, as we all prepare for Pentecost, to watch this video with an open heart. In a world that is filled with the hurting and lost, God is raising up an Early Church Spirit to go into the world to preach the Good News of our Jesus – our Redeemer, our Savior, and our Friend. Fear not!
Photo by Bahram Bayat on Unsplash
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Thank you so very much for this reflection!!!! We do need a new inpouring of the Holy Spirit. We need to be awaken to the presence of the Holy Spirit, His power, gifts and action within and through us. We need to really understand what it means for laity to be priest and prophet and claim this ministry.