May the peace and joy of the Risen Lord be with you! We
have celebrated the great events of the Triduum and now we approach
Pentecost. The Church gives us 50 days to rejoice in the fact
of the Resurrection and to prepare our hearts once more for a
deeper reception of the power of the Holy Spirit. During this
time of year, therefore, we must again ask ourselves: do we want
more of the Holy Spirit? It is not a frivolous question. In
fact, it is one of the most serious questions in our lives. Where
are we with the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit? Are we really
walking in His power and anointing the way the Scriptures describe
should be normative for the followers of the Lord Jesus? Or has
He somehow faded to a more background position, dimly acknowledged
in our daily lives, but really not in the position of being the
clear and present source of grace, power, and anointing that the
Lord Jesus intends the Spirit to have in us.
A few weeks ago there was a vision mentioned at Mass at Christ the King in which the power of the Spirit was described as a great River. Folks had all sorts of different responses to that River. Some waded in it, so jumped in from time to time, some seemed content to just sit on its banks and watch it roll by. But some chose to jump in fully, over their heads, and simply let the River carry them where it wanted to go. Some have left the River, believing the lie that was told that somehow the water was bad. But the response of each individual is a private and personal thing that each individual needs to make. As far as the Lord Jesus Himself wills, of course, He would have each individual plunge fully into that River, that we may be deeply and thoroughly empowered by it. His Word exhorts us over and over to receive more and more of that Spirit, commanding us to "be clothed with power from on High" to "earnestly desire the higher gifts," to pray "in the Spirit on every possible occasion." How will we yield to His clear will for us? Will we say 'yes, Lord' and beg Him to fill us with more of the power of His Spirit, immersing us fully in the River of His power, or will we be content to just dabble our toes in it, or worse, will we just sit on the bank and watch the River go by? Each year as we approach the Feast of Pentecost, each of us must once again make a personal decision to go on with the life in the Spirit, that we would celebrate the Descent of the Fire of the Holy Spirit not simply as some bland, way-back-then event, but rather as a living reality in our daily lives. Let us choose for more of God, more of His Love, more of His power, more of Him in our lives. The alternative is a slow death and even a gradual falling away from the Lord Jesus Himself. He has set before us Life or death. Let us choose LIFE!