PARTNERSHIP WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
Rev. Fr. John-Mary Benedict Ntol Atep
“The reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For ‘by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church).
The Lord has done marvelous things for us, let them be made known. The gifts of the Holy Spirit must be made known to the whole world and our lives should reflect the gifts through prayer, our association with the word of God, inspiration and guidance, repentance and transformation in our hearts, peace in times of suffering, service to the poor and humanity, working with the Holy Spirit and discernment of the spirits. I renew my prayer intention that says, “I wish I have the gifts of the mystics to deliver into our hearts one of the core secrets of the Holy Spirit: the reality of how we have been empowered at confirmation to partner with the Holy Spirit. There are two great points of our testimony about things of the Spirit: we are chosen and empowered. We are chosen by Jesus Christ as confirmed by Him: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide” (John 15:16). We are not only chosen but empowered to live through the sacraments of baptism and confirmation.
Today, the Sixth Sunday of Easter, we see how the Holy Spirit empowers Philip the deacon to preach and heal the people of Samaria, the Holy Spirit also helps Peter and John to administer the sacrament of confirmation on the new converts (Acts 8:5-8, 14-17). The sacrament of confirmation after the reception of baptism is usually a special event to refresh in us the anointing of the Holy Spirit. From the gospel of John 14:15-21, Jesus Christ in His last discourse with the Apostles, describes how we are empowered with the gift of the Holy Spirit. He says, “I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever, that Spirit of truth whom the world can never receive since it neither sees nor knows him; but you know him, because he is with you, he is in you. I will not leave you orphans.”
Friends in Christ, the message is very clear, we have received the Holy Spirit at baptism and confirmation and the same Spirit is nourished and renewed daily through our reception of the Holy Eucharist. But sometimes we live and easily forget that we have the Holy Spirit in us and start chasing for some other spirits in the world. Signs abound that speak of our insensitivity and weak response to the Spirit of God in us. The crave for anointing and breakthroughs, which leads many of us to questionable prayer houses and men of God that we are more empowered than them, poor sacramental life (living a Christian life without Holy Communion for instance), unnecessary fear and anxiety, timidity before other brethren and lack of courage to defend the faith (1Pet. 3:15-18), dullness and joyless life. Holy Spirit please renew us!
Therefore, let us start now to welcome the Holy Spirit in us by renewing our memories of confirmation. Let us activate the Holy Spirit in us so that we can conquer temptations; remove spiritual blocks of addictions, evil habits and unforgiveness. Let us also become friends and partners of the Holy Spirit in teaching, preaching and healing.
- The Holy Spirit is all over doing greatly in our world. How have I been in partnership with the Holy Spirit in expanding the reign of Jesus Christ in our world?
- I am a baptized and confirmed Catholic. Thanks be to God! What are the signs and fruits to show that the Holy Spirit is active in my life?
Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Amen.