The Spirit calls. How do we respond?

Word Alive — Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD – May 31, 2020 / Pentecost Sunday

Once an archbishop was discussing Christianity with a learned Japanese writer. The writer told the archbishop, “I can understand God the Father and God the Son, but I can never understand the significance of the Honorable Bird.”

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Today is the feast of the Holy Spirit or PENTECOST. It commemorates the momentous event when the Holy Spirit descended on the timid apostles in the Cenacle where the Last Supper took place.

One difficulty in knowing the “mysterious” Holy Spirit is because he is represented in various symbols. The Holy Spirit is portrayed as a dove that hovered over Christ when he was baptized at the river Jordan.

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At Pentecost he came down “like wind.” “Wind” (“pnoe” in Greek) is used in the Scripture to designate a person’s “breath” or “spirit” –ruah in Hebrew. (Read Genesis 2,7). The Holy Spirit “inspires” or “breathes life into.” And one who is inspired receives life.

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The Spirit is the Church’s breath. The divine breath gave the young Christian Church astonishing powers like the gift of tongues, courage to face the hostile Jews, a burning zeal, diligence, and persistence in preaching Jesus and his teachings.

The Spirit also moves us to CONVERSION or spiritual rebirth.
I had a friend from the Ilocos who was a bank manager and whose accounting expertise we consulted in our school finances.

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He talked of nothing except money–and how one could make more of it. He wasn’t really that irreligious because he would go to church regularly, but stayed at the back. One would call him a “church pillar” because he stood behind the pillars of the church!

We lost track of each other for years. But some time ago we met. I expected him to rattle off his favorite topic–money. But surprisingly, he now talked about religious matters.

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“What happened?” I asked. “It’s a long story,” he said, “but after joining a Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS), I realized that I’d been missing a lot of important things in life. Where God occupied the sideline before, now he is at the center of my life.”

The dramatic transformation was the working of the Holy Spirit.

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Did you ever feel turning a new life because of guilt feelings over some illegal deals or illicit relationships? Or were you inspired to do good because of the examples of others or because of a spiritual retreat or a religious article?

The above experiences are the call and promptings of the Holy Spirit. But the question is: Do you heed the Spirit’s call to conversion?

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Some prefer to follow the urgings of the evil spirit and why? Because the enticement, the material incentives are more attractive. For instance, in the distribution of SAP (Social Amelioration Program) subsidy to the poor, some barangay officials were caught cutting the amounts or hiding them.
There are bigger forms of stealing and corrupt practices that are happening in government offices and business transactions because the material rewards are irresistible.

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In married life, some husbands engage in pleasurable relations with women other than their spouse. When one engages in such affair, the inner voice of the Spirit reproves him, making him feel the remorse of his conscience.

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Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will give us strength to say NO when we are tempted. Giving in causes guilt feelings and leads to moral perdition. But heeding the voice of the Spirit to reject evil leads us to peace of mind, serenity and joy because you are doing the will of God.
DO GOOD; AVOID EVIL.

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THE LIGHTER SIDE. A man bragged to his friend: “I got rid of my vices through will power. Smoking? Will power. Drinking? Will power. “ “How about womanizing?” his friend asked. He thought momentarily, then replied: “Power failure!”

“But I’m trying hard to get rid of it,” he said sheepishly.

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Do you know the difference between the two words “complete” and “finished”? Answer: When you marry the right one, you are COMPLETE. When you marry the wrong one, you are FINISHED.

But when the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are COMPLETELY FINISHED!!

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