Today we experience what the ancients longed to see. “Oh, that you would tear the heavens open and come down!” (Is. 63:19). At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit tore the heavens open, coming down in tongues of fire to change the apostles from men who cowered in fear to those who boldly proclaimed the risen Christ. Our baptism and confirmation give us the same audacity in the Truth!
But how to live out that boldness?
Let God Do It
A friend told me today that she prays, “God lead me in your path, even if I know nothing about it.” The same thought has been on my mind lately. Because I too often assume that I am on the wrong path and I beg God to put me right. But what would happen if we assumed that God hears our prayers, knows what he’s doing, and has sent the Holy Spirit to guide us on the right path—even if we know nothing about it? Wouldn’t that change everything?
Low Confidence in Myself
I become discouraged when I rely too much on my own strength to become holy. I see my failures and wonder whether I can ever get there.
Did I say “I”?
Confidence in the Spirit
Believing that God is guiding me—really believing it, though we may not see it—changes our attitude toward everything. It frees us from doubt and even self-doubt. Because it’s not about us, it’s about God working in us. That kind of faith in our personal Pentecost, which is about receiving God rather than judging ourselves, frees us to love without worrying about the results. It frees us to do that scary thing for God that will give someone else the courage to take holy risks. It frees us from worry about the future because we really believe the good God is in control.
God has big plans for us! They include giving us everything we need to become the image of His Son, through whom and for whom we were created. And we know that’s just the beginning: he plans to keep us close to him forever in heaven, which we can practice for now.
I challenge you to live this week as if all the gifts of the Holy Spirit are yours, that they are already alive and active in you. I challenge you to take your eyes off your weaknesses and look instead at God’s victory in you, as you receive the tongues of fire he is sending you right this moment to his glory and yours.
Who is that person you’ve resisted forgiving? That person you’ve been afraid to invite to Mass? That truth you’ve been holding back telling? Let’s get started!
P.S. Click here for a refresher on what the gifts of the Holy Spirit are.
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