Life in the Spirit
Pope Francis often speaks about the role of the Holy Spirit in the Church. The Holy Spirit is the source of unity amid diversity: “differing currents of thought in philosophy, theology and pastoral practice, if open to being reconciled by the Spirit in respect and love, can enable the Church to grow, since all of them help to express more clearly the immense riches of God’s word.”
The Holy Father says that, “seeing reality with the eyes of faith, we cannot fail to acknowledge what the Holy Spirit is sowing.”
Because of our baptism and confirmation, the pontiff in his encyclical Evangelii Gaudium wrote that we are empowered to proclaim the Lord Jesus and his Gospel. “In all the baptized, from first to last, the sanctifying power of the Spirit is at work, impelling us to evangelization. The Holy Spirit enriches the entire evangelizing Church with different charisms. These gifts are meant to renew and build up the Church. They are not an inheritance, safely secured and entrusted to a small group for safekeeping; rather they are gifts of the Spirit integrated into the body of the Church, drawn to the center which is Christ and then channeled into an evangelizing impulse.”
An article I read recently, from Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS said, “We need the refreshing, renewing gifts of the Holy Spirit as we need water itself. We need the light of the Holy Spirit to see things as God sees them and to respond in love.” We need the Holy Spirit, working in each and every one of us, to build up the kingdom of God at Holy Family Parish in Latrobe. We need to recognize one another’s gifts and to channel them through the power of the Holy Spirit to bring about unity amid our diversity -- not uniformity, but communion with one another and with our God.
The archbishop continued and explained that while this is all very beautiful and inspiring, living in accord with the gospel can be difficult, as thousands of Christians are living in fear, lost their faith, or even given up hope. We must never give up! We must continue to pray to the Holy Spirt for help even if it means we pray every hour.
As I reflect on our own situations, and as I explained to our OCIA catechumen and candidates, it is our faith that we need to hold on to. It is our hope, that in the midst of trials and tribulations, the Holy Spirit will guide us through. Finally, it is the pure love of Jesus, who was crucified, died, and resurrected, that shows us how much we are loved. Let us live in the Spirit and grow our community at Holy Family! Amen!