Living in the Spirit
Read Time: 6 minutes
What does it mean to live in the spirit? I mean to live every day doing God’s will in our lives. How do we, as baptized Christians live this out?
Let’s look at the Acts of the Apostles to see how the early church did this. At the very beginning of Acts Jesus tells his apostles not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for the promise of the Father, namely the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:4-5
Wait on the Lord. Sometimes that is very difficult to do. We think that we have this great idea, and we are going to go ahead with it on our own. Waiting on the Lord means prayer and discernment, which can be frustrating to a world that demands immediate action, which many times can lead to failure.
I am sure that the apostles did not feel very well equipped to continue Jesus’ mission. But Pentecost is the fulfilment of the promise that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit. As Pope Benedict says Pentecost was the crowning moment of Jesus’ whole mission. He went on to add that the grace of Pentecost is not confined to the past but is a gift to be desired, prayed for, and rediscovered today.
Once the Holy Spirit descended upon them, everything changed. As we read in Acts, the apostles continued to wait and pray, so that they would act in the immediate moment of grace that the spirit moved them towards.
One of the first instances after Pentecost, was the Holy Spirit working through Peter and John to cure the crippled man from birth at the beautiful gate of the temple, which also resulted in the conversion of many people that day.
Does this happen today? Yes. Absolutely.
I recently attended the Lift Jesus Higher Rally in Toronto. The LJHR is the largest indoor Catholic gathering of praise, worship, adoration and inspiring talks in front of an audience of 5000 people. I was particularly inspired by the talk that Angele Regnier gave. Her talk was entitled Standing on the Word: Faith over Fear. She described her experience about bringing the relic of St. Francis Xavier to Canada in 2018.
Her Bishop asked her to undertake this project and to take the arm of St. Francis Xavier on a tour to 40 locations in Canada. Who me? I’m just a mother and grandmother I don’t know how to even begin to do this. The bishop told her to pray and that many people would also be praying for her.
She mentioned some of the challenges and fears that she faced. The arm required its own seat on the plane. What if we lost the arm? Or broke the arm? She also had to deal with the media, so the bishop decided to hire a media consultant to help her. There was an interview scheduled with a secular reporter. The consultant tried to prepare her by telling her that this reporter eats Catholics for breakfast. Throughout her trials and tribulations, she turned to the Word of God.
You shall not be put to shame. That passage, one of over 60 passages like it in the Bible gave her the strength and courage to persevere, and the event was a total success. Many healings and conversions happened all over the country, not unlike the events that happened 2000 years ago. This is Standing on the Word of God in Faith.
18 months ago, a friend of mine had a conversion experience. A baptism in the Holy Spirit. He recounted to me the other day that he came upon 2 homeless people that seemed to need help. This thought occurred to him as he was driving by. Then something compelled him to turn around and go back. He can’t explain what it was. He just needed to go back. He helped them get their shopping cart unstuck and handed them a $50.00 dollar bill. He’d never done anything like that before in his life. He continues to wait, to pray, and to act. I was hungry and you gave me food…
Whether it is a big event or a small daily encounter, these things are not of human designs or plans. These events are supernatural works of the Holy Spirit, and they are happening right here, right now, every day, right under our noses. As Pope Benedict said: Let us rediscover the beauty of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Let us be aware of our baptism and our confirmation, sources of grace that are always present. Let us ask the Virgin Mary to obtain a renewed Pentecost for the Church again today, a Pentecost that will spread in everyone the joy of living and witnessing to the Gospel.