As the Father has sent me, so I send you
(c.f. John 20:21)
Holy Spirit (Week 2) - May 13-19, 2013
Objective of the week: To open our hearts for the coming of the Holy Spirit in order to do His mission: to reconcile the world in God.
Last week we were invited to prepare our hearts for the coming of the Holy Spirit to us. His presence will lead us into all the truth. (cf. Jn 16:13)
This week we continue to await His coming. He comes to fulfill the promise of Jesus to us, to give us a Helper, a guide and a companion in the mission. The presence of the Holy Spirit moves us out of our fears and “locked doors” in doing the mission.
What is our mission? “As the Father sent me, so I send you” (cf. Jn 20:21) Jesus entrusts to us His same mission. It is to reconcile the world, united in His same Spirit.
In the story of the Tower of Babel, the spirits of misunderstanding, pride and human power caused the disunity and difference. Thus, the barriers of race, status, language were made. The Holy Spirit whom Jesus sends to us is a Spirit of unity and love in the midst of these differences and barriers.
The key is to allow the Holy Spirit to enter in our hearts. He empowers us and gives us different kinds of spiritual gifts according to one’s need for the mission. (cf. 1 Cor 12:4).
Verbum Dei, as we receive the Holy Spirit, let us be reminded of the mission entrusted to us.
Jesus gives us His Spirit
As Verbum Dei, He gives us the same trust as the Father had given Him.
19 It was late that Sunday evening, and the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors, because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities. Then Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 After saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive people's sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Do we recognize the confidence of Jesus in our capacity to continue doing His mission?
The Lord wants to move us beyond our fears
Jesus invites us to be at peace for He is with us, through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
15 For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God's children, and by the Spirit's power we cry out to God, “Father! my Father!” 16 God's Spirit joins himself to our spirits to declare that we are God's children. 17 Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him; for if we share Christ's suffering, we will also share his glory.
“Don’t be afraid,” Jesus told them, “it is I!”
What hinders us to persevere in our following of Christ?
He empowers us by the strength of His Spirit
Jesus is inviting us to trust in the power of the Holy Spirit over our lives
29 Peter and the other apostles replied, “We must obey God, not men. 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from death, after you had killed him by nailing him to a cross. 31 God raised him to his right-hand side as Leader and Saviour, to give the people of Israel the opportunity to repent and have their sins forgiven. 32 We are witnesses to these things — we and the Holy Spirit, who is God's gift to those who obey him.”
19 Some Jews came from Antioch in Pisidia and from Iconium; they won the crowd over to their side, stoned Paul and dragged him out of the town, thinking that he was dead. 20 But when the believers gathered round him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he and Barnabas went to Derbe.
21 Paul and Barnabas preached the Good News in Derbe and won many disciples. Then they went back to Lystra, to Iconium, and on to Antioch in Pisidia. 22 They strengthened the believers and encouraged them to remain true to the faith. “We must pass through many troubles to enter the Kingdom of God,” they taught. 23 In each church they appointed elders, and with prayers and fasting they commended them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
Do the standards of this world stop us from obeying God and doing what is necessary to be done?
The Holy Spirit gives us different gifts
As the Holy Spirit strengthens us, He also gives us the gifts that we need to do the mission: gifts unique to each person.
1 Corinthians 12:3b-7
No one can confess “Jesus is Lord”, without being guided by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. 5 There are different ways of serving, but the same Lord is served. 6 There are different abilities to perform service, but the same God gives ability to all for their particular service. 7 The Spirit's presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all.
7 Each one of us has received a special gift in proportion to what Christ has given.
What are the gifts that you have received from the Holy Spirit? Are you using it for His mission?
The Spirit of communion makes us one family in mission
As Verbum Dei, we are reminded that we have received the Spirit that makes us one and not divided.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13
12 Christ is like a single body, which has many parts; it is still one body, even though it is made up of different parts. 13 In the same way, all of us, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether slaves or free, have been baptized into the one body by the same Spirit, and we have all been given the one Spirit to drink.
34 There was no one in the group who was in need. Those who owned fields or houses would sell them, bring the money received from the sale, 35 and hand it over to the apostles; and the money was distributed to each one according to his need. 36 And so it was that Joseph, a Levite born in Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “One who Encourages”), 37 sold a field he owned, brought the money, and handed it over to the apostles.
How do I live out the mission? Do I do it alone or with others? Do I find time to help others and, or ask help from the community in doing the mission?
The Holy Spirit gives us the power to reconcile the world
The Holy Spirit opens our perspective: that through our lives we can set the world on fire with God’s love.
23 If you forgive people's sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
6 When they heard this noise, a large crowd gathered. They were all excited, because each one of them heard the believers speaking in his or her own language. 7 In amazement and wonder they exclaimed, “These people who are talking like this are Galileans! 8 How is it, then, that all of us hear them speaking in our own native languages? 9 We are from Parthia, Media, and Elam; from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia; from Pontus and Asia, 10 from Phrygia and Pamphylia, from Egypt and the regions of Libya near Cyrene. Some of us are from Rome, 11 both Jews and Gentiles converted to Judaism, and some of us are from Crete and Arabia — yet all of us hear them speaking in our own languages about the great things that God has done!”
What is the invitation of the Holy Spirit for you this week? Is He showing you a concrete situation to lead others to Christ?
1 Corinthians 12:3-13
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
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