And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
We have begun our second series of the summer, taking a look at the Holy Spirit, the overlooked and misunderstood person of the Blessed Trinity. The Spirit is a person, by the way, and we can have a relationship with that person, and we need to have a relationship with that person.
Because that person has power…we can use.
The same power that led Moses to ever even imagine he could part a sea, and lead a whole nation into freedom.
The same power that allowed David to dare and stand up to the giant bully Goliath.
The same power that filled the Virgin Mary as she conceived Jesus in her womb.
The same power that worked in Jesus himself, healing the sick and raising the dead.
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead. That’s the power we’re talking about. A real person with real power that can have a powerful presence in our lives.
But the Acts of the Apostles, which describes the earliest Church, goes further, and says more. The first Christian community was “filled” with the Spirit.
Luke (who wrote Acts) tells us that not only did the original disciples receive the Holy Spirit, they were filled with the Spirit. There is a distinction between receiving the Spirit and being filled with the Spirit.
To receive the Spirit means the Spirit is present to us and we are receptive to that presence. In the Sacraments we received the Spirit, but in other ways too: in worship, in music, in nature, in other people.
To be filled with the Spirit, however, is different. And here’s the difference. On my own, I am the center of me. So are you. I am the center of me and I interpret all things through the lens of me…my needs, my wants, my thoughts, my feelings. The power of the Holy Spirit can actually change that, helping move me out of the center, and more and more placing Christ there, allowing me to interpret and act and do all things through him.
The Spirit brings incredible gifts that produce amazing fruit, things like peace, patience, kindness, joy. Who wouldn’t want to live like that. To learn more about the practical simple steps to get going in that direction join us this weekend. Our weekend message, after all weekend Masses will be offered by Al Sharback. Al is a former Anglican priest who is currently the assistant to our Bishop and a good friend of ours. He brings a fresh voice and a great perspective to this important subject. Please join us: Saturday, August 11 at 5pm, Sunday, August 12 at 9 & 10:30am, 12n and 5:30pm or live on line Sunday at 10:30am and 5:30pm.