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REFLECTION CAPSULE – The Solemnity of the Pentecost

REFLECTION CAPSULE FOR THE DAY
( Based on the Solemnity of the Pentecost)

An incident is told of a great ship that was stranded off the coast of South America.

Week after week, the ship lay there, in the still ocean waters with not a hint of a breeze.

The captain was desperate; the crew was dying of thirst.
>> The salty ocean waters stared at the members of the ship.

Finally, one day, on the far horizon, a steamship appeared.

As this tiny boat, approached them, the captain of the great ship called out:
“We need water. Give us water!”

The steamship replied: “Lower yourselves, and life will be yours!”

The captain – an experienced person, and who knew that it was impossible to get potable water from the oceans – was infuriated.

But the steamship gave the same reply, “Lower yourselves, and life will be yours!”, and sailed away.

The captain was all by himself – feeling angry and desperate!

But a little later, when no one was looking, a cleaner boy of the ship, lowered a bucket into the sea and then tasted what he brought up: It was perfectly sweet, fresh water!

How was that possible?

The ship had been stranded, just out of the oceans, into the mouth of the River Amazon (Amazon makes up for nearly 1/5th of the earth’s fresh waters!)

For weeks together, they had been sitting on top of all the fresh water that they needed.
>> But it remained undiscovered!

So it is, often, with our Christian Lives as well!
What we are really seeking, is already inside us: Waiting to be discovered!
>> The Holy Spirit, Who has been dwelling within us, from our Baptism, gently whispers to us: “Lower yourselves, and life will be yours!”

Today, on this Great Day of Pentecost, we are invited to open our hearts to recognize the Power of the Holy Spirit…
… and to become aware of the inherent greatness in our vocation as Christians.

On the day of Pentecost, in the Upper Room, as the disciples were gathered in prayer, along with Blessed Mother Mary, “the Holy Spirit filled the entire house in which they were” (Acts 2:2)

It is to be noted that the word used to describe the coming of the Holy Spirit is the Greek word “aphno” which means “suddenly”
>> “And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind…” (Acts 2: 2)

The coming of the Holy Spirit was “sudden”.
>> This energetic entry of the Holy Spirit is a glimpse to one important characteristic of the person of the Holy Spirit: Vitality!

The Holy Spirit is a spirit of life… of energy… of vivacity… of animation… of dynamism!
>> Where the Holy Spirit is, there is the great movement of the will, the mind and the heart!

It was this “sudden” coming of the Holy Spirit that transformed the small group of Jesus’ disciples into mighty warriors of the Kingdom of God.
Fear was transformed into power…
> Timidity was changed into boldness…
>> Uncertainty was converted into conviction…

Our own lives need an encounter of this “life-transforming” experience.
>> Is my Christian life, dull and slow – merely laced with routine actions of prayers and sacraments?
>> Is my life of faith, lethargic and tepid – simply being pulled on, without any particular awareness or lived without any enthusiasm?
… then, we need the mighty movement of the Holy Spirit to impress life and vitality to our life and our faith!

The Holy Spirit is undoubtedly one of the most shy person of the Blessed Trinity and therefore, also often, neglected in our daily prayers or devotion
>> The study and awareness of the Holy Spirit is certainly, in general, given lesser priority and importance in comparison to the other Persons of the Trinity
>> The Feast of the Pentecost is very often not accorded the “solemn” tone in comparison to other feasts like Christmas or Easter

But let us realize, that in the Holy Spirit and in the celebration of this Feast, we have a great treasure to cherish and enjoy.
>> Each Christian ought to build an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit.
>> Each Christian must become more aware of the role of the Holy Spirit in daily living

How wonderful it would be if we could inculcate a few practical resolutions to grow in our intimacy and union with this Powerful and Dynamic Personality of the Blessed Trinity:
1. Wishing “Good Morning, Holy Spirit ” to Him as we begin the day, thanking for His protection and seeking His help through the day

2. Invoking a tiny chaplet, “Come Holy Spirit, fill our hearts and minds” as we begin a particular activity or work

3. Making a short examination of conscience at the end of the day, introspecting our lives in overcoming sin, being grateful for His guidance and seeking to grow spiritually in holiness, with the power of the Holy Spirit

4. Co-operating with the Holy Spirit to become effective agents of unity in our homes, our communities, our places of work and our churches.

5. Purposely creating a few seconds of silence in the schedule of our works or our activity or through the course of the day, and talking to the Holy Spirit, as a friend, in the cave of our heart

6. Listening to the still, gentle voice of the Holy Spirit in the depths of our being, speaking to us to be more active to read God’s Word in the Bible and to partake of the Sacraments more frequently especially Confession and Holy Eucharist.

The Lord has blessed our lives with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
> He longs to be empower our lives…
>> He earnestly wants to be in total control of our lives…

But for this, He needs our permission…

A permission in the form of…
… longing for Him
… making sincere efforts to live a life casting away sin

Let us realize that by our Christian Vocation, we are constantly in touch with “Fresh Waters” of Grace.

>> May we be aware of the worth of the “source of life” that is with us, and live a life worthy of it…
… by constantly giving heed to the call: “Lower yourselves, and life will be yours!”

Wish you a very Happy Feast of the Holy Spirit – the Pentecost!

Happy Birthday to our Mother Church!
> May we cherish the life offered by our Mother, in the Sacraments, and especially receive the sweetness of the Holy Eucharist more worthily and enthusiastically!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

– Fr Jijo Jose Manjackal MSFS
Bengaluru, India

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – ” May it please the Divine Majesty to grant us…
1. The gift of Fear: to we may serve Him filially
2. The gift of Piety: to revere Him as our most loving Father
3. The gift of Knowledge: to know the good we ought to do and the evil we ought to avoid
4. The gift of Fortitude: to overcome courageously all difficulties in the practice of virtue
5. The gift of Counsel: to discern and to choose the true way of perfection
6. The gift of Understanding: to realize the beauty and benefit of the mysteries of faith and of the truths of the Gospel
7. The gift of Wisdom: to taste how good God is, to savor and experience the sweetness of His incomprehensible benignity.

>> Oh! How happy shall we be, if we receive these priceless gifts, for doubtless, they will lead us to the summit of this mystical ladder…
… where we shall be received by our Divine Savior who awaits us there with open arms, to make us participants of His glory and felicity!”
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