THE SCHOOL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: PUT ON THE VESTMENT OF HOLINESS
“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).
- For you, what is the relationship between holiness and service?
- What is your notion of service as a disciple of the school of the Holy Spirit?
- 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?
- 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?
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!