First Reading: Acts 14:5-18
When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to molest them and to stone them, they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycao'nia, and to the surrounding country; and there they preached the gospel. Now at Lystra there was a man sitting, who could not use his feet; he was a cripple from birth, who had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking; and Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, said in a loud voice, "Stand upright on your feet." And he sprang up and walked. And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycao'nian, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!" Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, because he was the chief speaker, they called Hermes. And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the people. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out among the multitude, crying, "Men, why are you doing this? We also are men, of like nature with you, and bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways; yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good and gave you from heaven rains and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness." With these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 115:1-4, 15-16
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to thy name give glory, for the sake of thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness! Why should the nations say, "Where is their God?" Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth! The heavens are the LORD's heavens, but the earth he has given to the sons of men.
Gospel: John 14:21-26
He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?" Jesus answered him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me. "These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
We believe in a triune God. Three in One. But how often to leave that poor third one out? The Holy Spirit, you know the bird one. Paraclete. Is it because we cannot grasp Him in our minds so we just leave Him up on our spiritual shelves and never take him down?! God is a father, yes we know what that looks like. God is Jesus fully divine, fully man, yep, have a good idea what that looks like too (thank you New Testament!) . . . but the bird, nope, no comprende.
Yet, the Holy Spirit is the connector piece of the puzzle, the glue that pulls it all together and makes sense of everything. The Counselor. Jesus says He is a big deal, so maybe we need to reevaluate more how to let the Holy Spirit into our lives more. The Holy Spirit is the working force behind all those who say that they believe in Christ and try to live their lives for Him. We cannot do it alone, but we do not have to; the Holy Spirit is there every step of the way with us, stirring the boldness in our hearts, giving us the conviction to hold fast, and allowing us to love others with the compassion of Christ.
And yet, the Holy Spirit can be way underutilized in my life. You would think Someone that gives you fruits and gifts you would use a lot more for your benefit, but alas, it still it gets skimped out. If I have learned one important thing about the Holy Spirit, it is that He fills the gaps.
He fills the voids and spaces in my life I don't even know and could not even try to begin to fill.
The spaces I do not understand, the confusion, the anger, the doubt: the Holy Spirit fills that space.
The spaces where I am lacking in patience, perseverance, conviction, discipline, trust, and love . . . the Holy Spirit fills that space.
When I do not know how to pray, or even want to pray, the Holy Spirit fills that space.
If I just allow the Holy Spirit to spread over my life and fill in all the nooks, crannies, cracks and canyons, He will gradually fill that space, bringing all facets of my life into a greater focus on Christ. He is the glue, and will connect everything that was once scattered and make it whole again.
My prayer, especially when I do not know how to pray is simple. Come, Holy Spirit.
Let him work and do his thing.
Let's rock this upcoming Pentecost. Come, Holy Spirit.
Cassie Kent is a wife, mom to two kiddos, loves to get a little crafty and even throws a monthly party celebrating the beauty of creativity. You can find out more about her here.