“The Same Power” By: Karen Dziekonska, Fiat Ventures

“The Same Power” By: Karen Dziekonska, Fiat Ventures

6th Sunday of Easter

I would imagine Jesus’ Apostles had been on quite a roller-coaster of emotions over the weeks after Jesus’s Resurrection. They had been with him for the three years of his public ministry, saw him die on the Cross, saw him risen from the grave, and now he’s talking about leaving again?

So many questions… “How long is he going to be gone?”, “When is he returning?” and “Where is he going?” But Jesus leaves them with instructions and commandments on how to continue his work, reassuring them that he will return with the words from this week’s Gospel, He says “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

All of us, at some point in our lives, have feared being alone or being abandoned by someone we love. We’ve all felt loneliness or doubt or uncertainly about our future or what we’re supposed to do next. But Jesus makes it very clear that his love for us is unwavering and he will continue to guide us. The passage continues, “In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live.” Jesus reassures the apostles that they will not be alone because His Father will send another Advocate to be with them always. Jesus loved us and guided us, and now he will ask the Father to send the Spirit of truth to do the same.

The Spirit had to be sent and accepted by the disciples because it was the only way Jesus’ ministry could have continued and for the Church to grow. Alone, Jesus taught thousands, but by sending out the disciples with the Spirit, they were able to reach to the ends of the earth. In the first reading, we hear of Philip and his mission in Samaria. The people listened to Philip and accepted his teaching, and were baptized, and the apostles prayed over them that the Holy Spirit fell upon them. The Spirit that was sent down from the Father in heaven and received by the disciples 2,000 years ago is the same spirit that we receive today!

A few years ago I went on a retreat. We had a fun weekend, but the memory that sticks out the most to me from it now wasn’t the epic dodge ball game or the 10 bags of peanut M&Ms I must have eaten.  It was one of the times of prayer that we had. The music ministry played some Holy Spirit themed songs, and the priest who was leading the time of prayer asked everyone to be open to the Holy Spirit in a new way. We sang and prayed, and I remember afterward, something about the room felt different. There was this really concrete feeling of peace.  I remember thinking that if someone walked into the room, it would be pretty evident to them that this was more than just a jam session of worship songs.

It’s important for us to remember that the Holy Spirit who lives and moves in us is the same Holy Spirit that the Apostles received at Pentecost that got them so fired up that they busted down the doors and couldn’t help but go out and tell people about Jesus.  When we remember that, it can change not only the way we live and pray ourselves, but the way we share our faith.  And the Holy Spirit gives us the wisdom for how to do that.  He knows that throwing Bibles at people on the street corner isn’t the best way to go about it, but he’ll give us the right words to say in a conversation.

So as we look ahead to Pentecost this year during these last weeks of the Easter season, start to pray for a new openness to the Holy Spirit in your life, and like the Apostles you’ll get fired up too with that same power.

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