A WORD FROM THE PASTOR
We are Spirit-filled People
An old beggar lay on his deathbed. His last words were to his young son who had been his constant companion during his begging trips. “Dear son," he said, “I have nothing to give you except a cotton bag and a dirty bronze bowl which I got in my younger days from the junk yard of a rich lady.” After his father’s death, the boy continued begging, using the bowl his father had given him.
One day a gold merchant dropped a coin in the boy’s bowl and he was surprised to hear a familiar ring. “Let me check your bowl,” the merchant said. To his great surprise, he found that the beggar’s bowl was made of pure gold. “My dear young man," he said, “why do you waste your time begging? You are a rich man. That bowl of yours is worth at least thirty thousand dollars.”
We Christians are often like this beggar boy who failed to recognize and appreciate the value of his bowl. We fail to appreciate the infinite worth of the Holy Spirit living within each of us, sharing his gifts and fruits and charisms with us. On this major feast day of the Church, we are invited to experience and appreciate the transforming, sanctifying, and strengthening presence of the Holy Spirit within us. This is also a day for us to renew the promises made to God during our Baptism and Confirmation, to profess our faith, and to practice it.
Without the Spirit, the Church is a field of dry, dead bones. The Venerable Fulton J. Sheen once said about the Church, "Even though we are God's chosen people, we often behave more like God's frozen people - frozen in our prayer life, frozen in the way we relate with one another, frozen in the way we celebrate our faith." Today is a great day to ask the Holy Spirit to rekindle in us the spirit of new life and enthusiasm, the fire of God's love.
As Saint Paul exhorts us, "Walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit" (Gal 5:16, 25). Spirit-filled people are praying people. Paul encourages us, "Pray on every occasion as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray for all God's people" (Eph 6:18).
Spirit-filled people are praying and worshipping God in their families and parishes. They try to grow continually in their faith, and they seek out every opportunity to discover Christ and what it means to be children of God.