Wednesday, April 15, 2015

He Does Not Ration His Gift Of The Spirit

April 16, 2015

By Beth DeCristofaro

Peter and the Apostles said in reply, “We must obey God rather than men.  The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.  God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.  We are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”  (Acts 5:29-32)

He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.  Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.  For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.  He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.  The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.  (John 3:32-35)

O Heavenly Father, do not ration your gift of the Spirit within me.  May your graces enable me to testify to your presence in the world, to the gifts you have given in my life and to the total dependence that I have on you for my life, my soul, my all.  Grant me the courage of the Apostles and the steadfast acceptance of St Bernadette as I proclaim your praise with my words and deeds.

It is so fitting that today’s reading from Acts of the Apostles falls on the feast day of St. Bernadette Soubirous.  The Apostles, transformed in spirit through witnessing the miracle of the Resurrection no longer hide in locked rooms or in the hinterlands of Galilee.  Rather we see them here facing down the ire of the temple leaders heedless of their own safety. They are eloquent witnesses to the power of God and evangelizing to the divine Word, Jesus. 

Bernadette was a nobody from a poor family who was also chosen as a witness to the presence of God on earth through visions of the Immaculate Conception. At first she was not believed by the church and by her community. However, she, too, was unafraid and not dissuaded in her faith in the grace given to her by the Blessed Virgin, speaking up and passing on the word of life to others.

Sr. Michaud, OSB, writes “the call to proclaim the Gospel to every creature is meant for us as well as for Jesus’ first disciples.  Easter is truly joyful, but our joy must lead to action. … How we live our lives can be a powerful example of dedication to Christ.”[i]  I often identify with Bernadette.  Who am I that I might testify in the face of greater issues and people than I?  God chooses and fills those chosen with the Spirit.

The Men’s 130th Cursillo Weekend begins in Arlington this evening.  Keep them in prayer and hold them in your thoughts so that the Team bears witness and candidates’ heart open ever deeper to the joy of Christ within.

What are you doing with your fourth day that you might like to share with these new Cursillo brothers?

[i] “Give Us This Day”, April 2015, P. 187.

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