"receive the holy spirit" (jn 20:22)
"We have not so much as heard that there is a Holy Spirit." —Acts 19:2
Despite years of quality Catholic education, including receiving the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, I never gave much thought to the Holy Spirit. By God's grace, I stumbled upon a Life in the Spirit seminar at the age of twenty-one. Scripture passages I had often heard but never grasped suddenly came alive as Catholic men and women shared their experiences of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit taught me through them and made everything new and alive (2 Cor 5:17). It was as if I had never heard of the Holy Spirit before (Acts 19:2). People laid hands on me (see Acts 19:6) and I rejoiced to receive the Holy Spirit in a deep, personal, and life-changing way. Alleluia!
I might never have received the Spirit like this if not for people who cared enough to share the Spirit with me, teach me, and pray with me to receive the Spirit. Likewise, twelve Ephesian men received the Holy Spirit because St. Paul was not ashamed to share the Spirit with them and lay hands on them (Acts 19:6).
It is generally God's plan to pass on the Holy Spirit through personal ministry. Many people might never come to know and receive the Holy Spirit if they don't come to know you. As St. Teresa of Avila said, God has no hands but your hands. During this Pentecost novena, offer your heart and hands to the Lord as instruments for the Holy Spirit (see Rm 6:13). Sow in the seed-ground of the Spirit, and reap a harvest of eternal life (Gal 6:8).
Prayer: Holy Spirit, flow through me like a living stream, bringing new life and healing to many (Jn 7:38; Ez 47:1ff).
Promise: "I tell you all this that in Me you may find peace. You will suffer in the world. But take courage! I have overcome the world." —Jn 16:33
Praise: Alice prays for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on her neighbors.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 6, 2015
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