Saint for the day: George (died c. 303)
Acts 13:44-52 – Psalm 98 – John 14:7-14
“Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.”
All of the Holy Scripture readings that we are hearing in these “Easter Days” straddle the post resurrection growth of the early Christian Community and the “Last Discourse” of Jesus at the Last Supper. So, we’re hearing about the disciples going out to proclaim Jesus as Savior of the World up against Gospels that point out that they didn’t quite grasp what He was telling them. We are given these Holy Scripture readings because we are so like those early followers of Jesus: kind of aware what He is trying to tell us but still confused about how to go about our missionary challenge.
That’s where the “Holy Spirit Prayer” that I quoted at the beginning of today’s reflection comes in. It’s the Holy Spirit that’s like petrol that fuels our ability to go out and proclaim that Jesus is Lord. This promise of the Holy Spirit takes us all the way back to the very beginning of the Bible when we read in Genesis, that the Holy Spirit was the force that brought order out of the chaos and also blew the breath of life into the first human beings. Now, millions of years after that creation scene we are still in need of the Holy Spirit’s Power to re-create us and burn within us the fire of God’s love. It’s no accident that the image of the Holy Spirit is given to us as breath which we cannot see but are still very much aware of. It reminds me of the story of Elijah at Mt. Horeb (1st Kings 19:8ff) where he is looking for the presence of God who promises to pass by. He hears and feels the great wind, but God was not in the storm. Then the earth quakes: but God is not in the earthquake And He wasn’t in the fire either. It’s when Elijah steps out and senses the still, gentle breeze that he recognizes God’s presence.
That should tell us something about encountering God’s presence in our lives. It’s not always in the spectacular signs but in that still, gentle breath of God’s Spirit that we, too, are recreated. Now, go back and reverently pray that Holy Spirit Prayer and allow it to gently breath its re-creating life in you. Amen!