For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
I would like to picture myself as one who exudes a loving peace and calm, leading a constant interior prayer life and always connected in some mystical way the Holy Spirit. ....But, I'm not like that.
Instead I am more “high energy” (translation: impatient), tapping my feet and drumming my fingers at lines, waiting, traffic, frustrating situations, etc. Yet sometimes, I am flooded with the grace of patience and a peace in the midst of a situation that would normally be stressful. I can recognize it right away and always feel grateful to the Holy Spirit for this new patience and peace that I am certain does not emanate from me.
I think today's readings are a good example of some of the graces that come with the Holy Spirit. In the first reading from Acts, we see the formerly cowardly Peter, now peacefully standing in court calmly saying, “We must obey God rather than men.” After recounting what those court officers had done to Jesus, Peter adds, “We are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.” He feels the peace and calm of the Holy Spirit and recognizes it, much to the fury of the court officials.
In today's gospel, John also notes that the gifts of the Spirit are not rationed. Instead those graces are given with a generous and overflowing love. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are clear in our lives when we recognize them. They include peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, charity and joy. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
And the opposite of these gifts are also clear. When our days are filled with gossip, criticism and judgments, we have lost touch with the Spirit. If we can easily see how other's could improve their lives and we hold tightly to the grudges in our hearts, we have forgotten the generous heart of the Spirit who is constantly pouring down graces on us.
Holy Spirit, let me recognize you in my everyday life. I am not always aware of the gifts you offer me so easily, and sometimes I don't want to be patient or gentle. I want to be crabby and selfish. Send down the fire of your love and let me burn with a new desire to be loving and generous. Let me share that fire with those I meet today.
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