Step #1: Lectio / Read
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Happy Easter! Even a month later we’re still celebrating this season of Christ’s Resurrection, but the liturgical celebration coming up is equally as important. Pentecost, the celebration of the apostles' reception of the Holy Spirit, is coming.
For Christians today, it is an important reminder to continue to invite the Holy Spirit into our lives.
One line in today’s Gospel has always stood out to me. Jesus is speaking to his apostles during the Last Supper on the night before his Passion begins. He states: “But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” Jesus is speaking about the Holy Spirit- the Advocate he promises to send to the apostles after his death and resurrection.
Jesus specifically says that he is speaking the truth. It is better that Jesus ascends to heaven so that we can receive the Holy Spirit than if he were to stay on earth with us. This phrase begs a few questions. Why can’t Jesus remain? Is it some sort of trade – Jesus for the Holy Spirit?
It's important to note that the mission of salvation does not begin with Jesus’ birth. The Holy Spirit is at work throughout the Old Testament, moving among God's people and preparing the great mission of salvation he has in store for us. In the time before the Messiah, the Holy Spirit is “hidden, but at work” (look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church 702). The Catechism goes onto state that Jesus only reveals the fullness of the Holy Spirit after his resurrection and ascension into heaven. It is through the Holy Spirit that we can know the Father, understand what Christ speaks to us, and live in truth.
The last aspect of the Holy Spirit we can reflect on is that God is giving us the great gift of himself in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is God's gift of love- the gift of himself to dwell in our hearts, as a result of our baptism. The Spirit will always remain in us and we are continually strengthened by him.
Today, don't ignore God! He has given us the Holy Spirit so we can truly be close to him in this life. We have the opportunity to build a relationship with the person of the Holy Spirit and truly allow God’s power to change the world through us.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
Where is the Holy Spirit active in my life?
How am I depending on the strength of the Holy Spirit to help me live as a disciple?
How do I think the Spirit can help lead me to a deeper relationship with Jesus? With the Father?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Come, Holy Spirit."
"Fill me afresh."
"Thank you, Lord."
Step #5: Actio / Act
Take time to pray for the Holy Spirit to be more active in your life today. If you're really interested in growing in a relationship with the Spirit, consider doing a Pentecost Novena in these days leading up to Pentecost.
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Today's Prayer was prepared by Liam Brady, an accountant in Chicago.
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