Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

May 27, 2012

Damian Olsen

2nd Year Medical Student

Acts 2:1-11
Ps 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13 OR Gal 5:16-25
Jn 20:19-23 OR Jn 15:26-27; 16:12-15

On Pentecost Sunday today we have so many good readings on which to reflect. In preparing to write this, I had to go through the readings and narrow it down to the ones I wanted to write on. They are all so rich and full, each one could have a reflection of its own. In the first reading today we hear the account of the Holy Spirit coming down upon Christ’s disciples and apostles. What a sight to behold that must have been: God revealing himself to such a mass of people all at once! While such an event could never be repeated, God desires to share himself with each of us in that same way every day. We are offered his presence through the Holy Spirit in our daily prayer and most especially in the Eucharist. If only we could all truly open our hearts to the flood of grace that he wills we receive!
What the Lord gives us is clearly not up to us, although sometimes we think we know what’s best and petition God unendingly for some particular need. He knows exactly what we need and if we will just open up our hearts in faith to receive the Holy Spirit, he will guide us in right paths. We hear in the second reading today from 1st Corinthians:

‘No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit...To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.

To some extent we have all received the Holy Spirit in our lives, for without it we could not profess Jesus as our Savior. The Spirit is the inspiration we rely on to make the great proclamation that has caused Catholics millennia of persecution. But in the second part of that quote we see that God wills our benefit and provides his Spirit to uplift us in some way. We may think we know best the ‘benefit’ we need to receive through the Holy Spirit, but each gift is the personal sign of Christ’s love for us that is contained secretly within his Sacred Heart. Our calling to open ourselves up to this benefit seems easy enough; however we need to live by the Spirit. We are reminded in the other option for the second reading today from Galatians of this difficulty:

‘Brothers and sisters, live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh...Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires.’

This reading reminds us that we must put ourselves and our worldly desires to death if we truly long for Christ to live in us. To live our earthly existence by the Spirit would be impossible for us alone, but the wonderful thing about our faith is that we are not traveling through this life alone. In Christ we can accomplish all things and perfect our weak human hearts and desires to a degree unimaginable to the faithless man. We hear Christ’s assurance of his help in his words from the Gospel of John, Chapter 15 today:

‘But when he come, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth... He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.’

We all possess this ‘Spirit of truth’ that Jesus tells his disciples about in today's Gospel. By our baptism Christ has given us access to receive all that he has, right down to his very body and blood in the Holy Eucharist. Let us live a life according to his Holy Spirit and open our hearts to the benefit he desires to bless us with. We do not make this walk of faith alone, Christ is in our hearts to give us all the help we need through the blessing of his Holy Spirit.

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