Daily Reflection – May 9, 2016
Monday 9 May 2016
First Reading: Acts 19:1-8
Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth
Psalm 68:2-3ab, 4-5acd, 6-7ab
Gospel Reading: John 16:29-33
Today’s Note: Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter
The disciples said to Jesus,
“Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.”
Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers? (Acts 19:2)
Imagine getting a promotion at work, but your pay, your duties, and your privileges don’t change at all. The only thing that changes is your title. If you were to tell your friends or family, they might wonder what this change means. You might wonder, too!
This is one way to understand how Paul felt when he met a group of disciples in Ephesus. Something must have moved him to ask if they had received the Holy Spirit—he must have detected that something was missing in the way they lived. That’s when he discovered that they had received only John’s baptism of repentance, not the full baptism into Christ that was at the heart of his message.
Like a promotion at work that brings real changes, baptism in the early Church brought a real change—the power of the Holy Spirit. New Christians showed the joy, courage, and freedom that only the Spirit can bring. The believers in Ephesus had taken the first step by turning from sin, but they had yet to receive the Spirit. They had yet to receive the grace to help them live the new life they were seeking.
What a marvelous truth this reading conveys about our own baptism! Even if it happened when you were very young, your baptism is meant to bring revolutionary changes in your life—changes that everyone else should see. Of course, this happens over time as you ask God to release the Spirit in you, but it does happen!
Today is a good day both to recall and to rejoice in your baptism. You have the Holy Spirit! Gifts like fortitude, reverence, and understanding are yours, and they can help you grow closer to God. They can also overflow from your life to bless everyone around you. People who knew the first Christians saw how exuberant and bold they were. They could tell that something good had happened to them, and it moved them to ask how they could receive the same gifts. This can happen in you as well.
So ask the Spirit to release his grace in you. Ask him to make a greater difference in your life today than he did yesterday. Keep alert for his promptings today. The world needs your witness!
“Holy Spirit, I’m ready to listen. Direct me in your ways.”