THE SCHOOL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: NOVENA TO THE HOLY SPIRIT – DAY 8

May 29, 2020frjohnma

BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

As disciples of the Holy Spirit, the height of discipleship is maturity. To be mature in the Spirit is to demonstrate the ability to be open to receiving and receiving afresh the Holy Spirit and to live in the Spirit and bear fruit, fruit that will last (John 15:16; Gal. 5:22-23). It goes to show that the necessity of the Holy Spirit cannot be overemphasized. Little wonder, even in the Old Testament, God created the world through the power of the Spirit, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:1-2). Again, the first king of Israel, Saul was empowered as follows: “The spirit of Yahweh will then seize on you, and you will go into ecstasy with them, and be changed into another man” (1 Sam. 10:6). And most importantly, Jesus Christ only began His public ministry after His declaration: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,” (Luke 4:18). And He ended also with the seven last words: “Into your hands I commend my Spirit” (Luke 23:46).

Friends of the Holy Spirit, we also need the Holy Spirit and the Spirit comes to us according to our stages of discipleship. At our first stage of discipleship, the Spirit meets us through the sacrament of baptism of water. As we grow further, the “Fullness of the Spirit” is given to us through the sacrament of confirmation. But we need to sustain the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us. Doing so is not always easy. Therefore, we need the power and empowerment to do so. How, we might ask? Through baptism and conformation, we receive water and holy oils as the signs of the gifts, charisms, and ministries of the Holy Spirit and they are implanted in our hearts and souls as “seeds” in order to sprout into fruits. The aforementioned elements need to be cultivated and nurtured to grow and bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit:  “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).

In order to achieve, the abovementioned task as a disciple of Jesus Christ, we need not just the power to do so but empowerment and renewal of our initial zeal. So, we can receive the Holy Spirit again and again in order to move on. Jesus Christ demonstrated the truth of receiving and receiving anew the Holy Spirit in such a way that after His resurrection, His first gift was “’Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit‘” (John 20:21-22). Fifty days after His resurrection, precisely on Pentecost day He fulfilled His promise of sending the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. Thus, when we talk of baptism of the Holy Spirit, it shouldn’t be strange to us. It simply means awakening and reawakening the original sacramental graces, gifts, and charisms we had received at our initial baptism into the Holy Spirit. Pope St. Paul VI whose memorial we celebrate today, sees baptism of the Holy Spirit as “the experience of the Divine Hug.”

The core confusion associated with the notion of baptism of the Holy Spirit is the thinking and feeling that it is another baptism and then we begin another rigorous preparation for it. St. Paul says, be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all” (Eph. 4:3-6).

This being so, be conscious of the reality and need of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. You and I need it always. Meanwhile, it is not only limited to the era of Pentecost commemoration or to any special group in the Church. Rather, it is meant for all the baptized and confirmed in Christ Jesus. We can always do novenas to the Holy Spirit for a prayerful preparation to experience a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Come Holy Spirit fill the Hearts of the Faithful and enkindle in us the FIRE OF YOUR LOVE..

Comments (13)

  • Monica

    May 29, 2020 at 7:49 am

    Good morning Father. Thank you very much Father. May the LORD continually strengthen you in JESUS MIGHTY NAME AMEN.

  • Juliana-Mary Ukeje

    May 29, 2020 at 10:36 am

    Amen.
    Wonderful! I really love Pope St. Paul VI’ s view of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and pray him to please obtain for us the privilege of experiencing this “divine hug” on this his special day in heaven. Thanks a lot Father for this reflection, especially for the awareness that this experience of “baptism of the Holy Spirit isn’t a one-time thing but that it can be experienced as often as we desire! As we do, may He help us produce the corresponding fruits and avoid being cut off as unfruitful branches (John15:6).

    1. frjohnma

      June 1, 2020 at 10:53 am

      Thanks a lot and remain blessed

  • Stanley-Mary Osegbo

    May 29, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    Thanks so much Fr. for the eye opening teaching! Baptism of the Holy Spirit also called 3rd conversion by St. Catherine of Siena is meant for all Christians to be sufficiently strong to walk with God, overcome the battles of life and serve Him fruitfully and effectively and it doesn’t necessarily involve laying hands on one to receive it.

    1. frjohnma

      June 1, 2020 at 10:53 am

      St. Catherine of Siena – Pray for us

  • Felix Isioma

    May 29, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    May our eyes be truly opened to the need of the Spirit’s active presence in our lives as disciples. May we keep aflame the fire of the Spirit which has been poured into our hearts. Amen

    1. frjohnma

      June 1, 2020 at 10:53 am

      Amen and thank you Fr

  • Pauline Otu

    May 29, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    Amen. As Christians, may God Almighty grant us the grace to bear fruits of the Holy spirit always amen. Thank you Father & stay safe.

    1. frjohnma

      June 1, 2020 at 10:52 am

      Thanks and Amen

  • AndyMarie

    May 30, 2020 at 4:22 am

    Thanks for the awareness of the role of the Holy Spirit in our daily life. May the Holy Spirit make us perfect soldiers of Christ who is always ready for battle. Amen

    1. frjohnma

      June 1, 2020 at 10:52 am

      Many thanks to you

  • Jenevive Odu.

    May 30, 2020 at 6:23 am

    Thank you for the write up . I need the Divine hug,the world needs it.Because,the fruits of the HOLY SPIRIT is lacking in the world today.The Holy spirit leads me away from my faults and worldly slavery. I am already feeling the ease of mind.Renewing my ways,onto pleasing God better, and using my body and soul to serve God faithfully
    .
    Will continue to be near the Holy Spirit by the novena.

    1. frjohnma

      June 1, 2020 at 10:51 am

      Thanks a million times

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