Scripture: 1st Reading: Acts19,1-8; Resp. Psalm: Ps68,2-7; Gosp. Accl.: Col3,1; Gospel: Jn16,29-33
The Holy Spirit comforts. The Holy Spirit teaches. The Holy Spirit gives the power to speak in tongues and prophesy. The Holy Spirit fills the heart of the believer and gives such courage that the adversaries find difficult to fathom.
The people of Ephesus experienced this massive power of the Holy Spirit in today's scripture. They had been baptized with John's baptism for repentance and to prepare the people for the Messiah's coming. Paul prayed for these lucky Ephesians, baptized them in the name of Jesus and laid his hands on them. They became filled with the Holy Spirit!
It was the Holy Spirit that comforted the Apostles and disciples at the time great persecutions arose against the church. Our Lord unequivocally told His disciples about the cost of discipleship. He told them they would be persecuted. He told them that at His hour of need, the hour of His sufferings, they would all run away.
Our Lord told them they would leave Him alone. Our Lord said notwithstanding their abandonment, His Father would be with Him. He then charged them that He told them all this so that they might understand and have peace when the events eventually came to pass. He told His disciples that they would have tribulations in the world but that they should be of good cheer because He had overcome the world.
As we wait and pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, let us remember that the Spirit gives power to witness. The Spirit gives the strength to make Christ known. The Spirit gives the power to confess the name of Jesus with boldness. Let us pray for the renewal of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds and souls.
Let us pray: "May the power of the Holy Spirit come to us, we pray, O Lord, that we may keep your will faithfully in mind as express it in a devout way of life." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.