THE SCHOOL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: PUT ON THE VESTMENT OF HOLINESS

May 5, 2020frjohnma

“At all times and in every race, anyone who fears God and does what is right has been acceptable to him. He has, however, willed to make men holy and save them, not as individuals without any bond or link between them, but rather to make them into a people who might acknowledge him and serve him in holiness. – Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 781.

Friends in Christ, thanks for your active participation in our current spiritual exercise; a prayerful reflection on the Person of the Holy Spirit and His relationship with us and the world. Opening up to the relationship that the Holy Spirit shares with us is a sign of not taking the Holy Spirit for granted. A further dimension of not taking the Holy Spirit for granted and His presence in us and our world is that of putting on the vestment of holiness that we have received from the Holy Spirit through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.

Priests wear vestments to celebrate the sacred mysteries of God, His Christ and the Holy Spirit. Vestments signify putting on Christ, speaking and acting “in persona Christi” (acting in the person of Christ). Each vestment displays its spiritual theme and deep meaning. For instance, White represents holiness and righteousness. Red is the colour for blood and symbolizes love, fire, passion and sacrifice. Green is the colour for new life, regeneration, and hope. Violet stands for penance, sorrow and reparation. Gold is the colour for a special day and celebrations. Rose is the colour for joy and Blue is the colour worn in honour of our Lady. Vestments reflect priests’ love for their special mission and identity in Christ. On the hand, holiness is the inner life of God in a priest and such holiness although interior and invisible, it is made visible through the vestments of the priests and his way of life which ought to reflect what he celebrates as the mysteries of God. The foregoing applies to us too. By virtue of our baptism and confirmation, we have received three main offices of Christ – Priest, prophet and king. Therefore, we have the responsibility to also display our inner life of God. The ability to serve is usually preserved in us through the power of the Holy Spirit. So, our readiness to live out the God in us is what is called service.

Service is rendered to sinners and saints through the agencies of evangelization and sanctification. Yesterday, we identified and briefly reflected on holiness as a primary end of the Holy Spirit’s relationship with you and me. It is never enough to receive without giving, otherwise one will remain sterile and barren or become overloaded and experience a burn out. The antidote to that is service. Thus, service is the second step of opening up to the Holy Spirit and a vestment in its own right that we need to put on on a daily basis. Service is rendered according to our vocations and ordinary life events that present themselves to us.

The Holy Spirit, according to the Nicene Creed, is the Lord and giver of life. No doubt about the fact that He givers life but He also inspires His life in us to reach out to others through service. No wonder He empowers us with His gifts, charisms and ministries. St. Paul says, “There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit; there are many different ways of serving, but it is always the same Lord. There are many different forms of activity, but in everybody it is the same God who is at work in them all. The particular manifestation of the Spirit granted to each one is to be used for the general good” (I Cor. 12:4-7).

Reflective Questions

  1. For you, what is the relationship between holiness and service?
  2. What is your notion of service as a disciple of the school of the Holy Spirit?
  3. Service is the outcome of holiness in us. Do you have concrete examples of how you have been striving to live out holiness through service?
  4. Our textbook in the school of the Holy Spirit is the Acts of the Apostles. What is your relationship with the Acts of the Apostles?

Announcements:

a). NOVENA IN HONOUR OF ST. CORONA TO END THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. 5TH – 13TH MAY. FEAST DAY: 14TH MAY. ST. CORONA – PRAY FOR US!

b). Please read the Acts of the Apostles

HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD, PLEASE FALL AFRESH ON US!

Comments (17)

  • Anajekwu Emeka

    May 5, 2020 at 10:43 am

    Thanks so much my padre.
    May God grant us the grace to live a life of holiness. And may Holy spirit of God fall fresh on us… Amen

    1. frjohnma

      May 5, 2020 at 10:33 pm

      Thanks so much and let us desire holiness and service for God and humanity

  • Gerard-Mary

    May 5, 2020 at 10:45 am

    Service without holiness is tantamount to being busy with the work of God while neglecting the God of the work. Holiness indeed is the crux of all Christian service without which no one can at the end arrive safely in the expected everlasting Kingdom of God. Thanks and more grace to you Padre.

    1. frjohnma

      May 5, 2020 at 10:34 pm

      Thanks for your words and compliment

  • Anajekwu Jacinta

    May 5, 2020 at 11:08 am

    Amen, Thank you Padre and may the Good Lord bless you and make your works & prayers germinate with more bountiful fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Amen

    1. frjohnma

      May 5, 2020 at 10:35 pm

      Yes, by the grace of God we shall experience the fruit of the Holy Spirit and live our lives to the fullest

  • AdaJesus

    May 5, 2020 at 11:24 am

    Thanks our dear fada! May God help us to live a life of Holiness & Service cos the two cannot be separated. Selfless service is needed from all baptized & confirmed Christians to live a life of Holiness & be Spirit filled. How one renders selfless service in the fam, church, place of work/business, etc makes one holy not minding that the person may receive lots of criticism from even those you show love to. Jesus Christ should be our model.

    1. frjohnma

      May 5, 2020 at 10:36 pm

      We need to daily pray for an integrated and serious minded Christian life.

  • Pauline Otu

    May 5, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    Amen . Thank you Father. May our service to God not be in vain amen.

    1. frjohnma

      May 5, 2020 at 10:37 pm

      Amen and may we also strive to play our own part and allow the Holy Spirit to be absolutely in control

  • Batomaria

    May 5, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    Service is indeed the outcome of the Holy Spirit. But because the world do know nor hear the Spirit, children of light have often been branded ‘over zealous’, ‘dominant ‘or’ proud ‘,thus becoming the butt to petty jealousy, envy and cajole among the very people for whom he serves. However, ineffable acceptance of the above negative attitude is also a perfect example of holiness. Thanks once again for this piece, Father.

    1. frjohnma

      May 5, 2020 at 10:37 pm

      BatoMaria thanks a lot

  • Juliana-Mary Ukeje

    May 5, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Amen.
    And may we through His gift of the vestment of holiness given us at our Baptism, truly display our inner life of God, as well as reflect our identity in Christ; quite interesting to note that today’s Gospel mentioned the first instance that the disciples were referred to as “Christian”!
    May God whose very nature is Love, also grant us the grace to always reflect our love for Him and our neighbours through a life of service as disciples of the Holy Spirit. Infact, this love-service linkage reminds me of a song:
    “Give me love in my heart, keep me serving;
    Give me love in my heart, I pray;
    Give me love in my heart, keep me serving;
    Keep me serving till the end of day;
    Sing Hosana, sing Hosanna;
    Sing Hosans to the King of kings;
    Sing Hosana, sing Hosanna;
    Sing Hosans to the King.”
    Many thanks Father for another dose of very insightful reflection on the Holy Spirit and for the reminder on the Novena in preparation for the feast of St Corona.

    1. frjohnma

      May 5, 2020 at 6:25 pm

      Thanks immensely for the input.

    2. frjohnma

      May 5, 2020 at 10:38 pm

      THanks for your great input and song that has gone viral.

  • AndyMarie

    May 5, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks alot on our drive with the Holy Spirit from different dimension. May the Holy Spirit show me the right service that is fitting to Him in other to bring me to true holiness in God.

    1. frjohnma

      May 5, 2020 at 6:24 pm

      Amen. Right service as a disciple of the Holy Spirit cannot be far-fetched. You can begin with praying more for the world and people, getting yourself involved in some volunteer work, affirming people everyday, putting smiles on the faces of people everyday. Is it difficult? I am sure you may be thinking of waiting to raise the dead to life as a unique service. Do not wait for people to die before you serve them! Thanks

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