Daily Reflection
June 2nd, 2003
Joan Lanahan
Chaplain, Occupational & Physical Therapy
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Acts 19:1-8
Psalm 68:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
John 16:29-33


Jesus says this in John’s gospel:  I am not alone.  Jesus promises the Holy Spirit will be with us.  In Acts, we hear of Paul’s laying on of hands “and the Holy Spirit came upon them.”  Where in the world is the Holy Spirit today?

During the 70’s, I was part of the Movement for a Better World, giving Ignatian retreats in parishes, seminaries, and convents in the U.S.  It was right after Vatican II and church communities were ripe for growth.

It was awesome to be with a group and watch the Holy Spirit move hearts and minds.  I could literally feel the Spirit’s presence in a vibrant community of shared leadership and service.

Today, many years later, we are still urged by Vatican II to read the signs of the times and look for the presence of the Holy Spirit.  This empowers us to work for good.

Look at our families and friends.  Summer, with its warmer weather and time to play outdoors, is a good time for relationships, enjoying being together and supporting one another.  It’s a time to notice God – moments in one another and the beauty of nature.

Holy Spirit breathing new life in Church – where is it?  Look for new leadership, for people promoting justice and tackling today’s issues that we’ve been silent about so long:  sexuality, finances, leadership, etc.

Our national and global picture is another challenge.  The Holy Spirit is present here, too, in groups speaking for peace, working on canceling the debt of poor nations or finding homes for refugees.  There is so much to be done within our vast world with many issues of injustice.

Ultimately, the Holy Spirit moves one heart/mind at a time - yours and mine.  It’s a scary adventure to allow the Spirit to move one, as to action on behalf of others.

The psalmist proclaims:

“The just exalt God,
Father of orphans,
defender of widows,
leads forth prisoners …”

Through you and me.  Pray for openness to the Spirit’s groaning in our hearts.

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