St. Augustine Catholic Church
Sunday, April 25, 2021
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Dear Church Family,
COME, HOLY SPIRIT
Our first reading for this Sunday is from the Book of Acts. It begins, “Peter, filled with the Holy spirit said.” Throughout most of the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit inspires the Apostles. Jesus before His death said that He would leave an advocate in His place. As we know, the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles and Mary in the Upper Room and tongues of fire came upon them and they began to speak in many languages, not their own.
Before God called me to be a deacon, I felt that I was familiar with the scriptures. But my concept of the Holy Spirit was weak. Not to be disrespectful, but truthful, the Holy Spirit was no more real to me than Casper the Ghost in the comic strips. When we read the Book of Acts as a whole, we can see how incredibly important the Holy Spirit is for the Apostles. He gives them great courage and spiritual strength to stand up to the leaders of the Jews. He inspires them when they speak. He fills them with the ability to heal. Unfortunately, when we depend on knowing the Gospel by just hearing it on Sunday, we are hearing only one part of the story. We truly need to read all of the book of Acts in order to get the full meaning.
The Holy Spirit introduced Himself to me at a charismatic mass. Many in the congregation surrounded the altar around the priest and thrust their hands into the air, praising God. I had never seen anything like this before and was dumbfounded. I also approached the altar and began, reluctantly, to raise my hands like the others. The Holy Spirit grabbed my hands and pulled them into the air, at the same, sending a charge of electricity through both arms. I was overwhelmed and could not bring my arms down. The Holy Spirit was introducing Himself to me. I have had other experiences with Him that are equal to and more than that.
My point is that the Holy Spirit is the gift of Jesus working through us as He did with the Apostles. The more we open our hearts and minds, the more He works through us. When we are asked a difficult question about our faith and suddenly the correct answer flows from our mouth without us even thinking about it, that is the Holy Spirit. As much as we know and believe in Jesus and God the Father, we must open our hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit. We will be amazed at how He works through us. As we open ourselves, we are filled with love, joy, and forgiveness and we become one with Jesus and the Trinity.
God bless and keep you,