THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
BAPTISM IN THE SPIRIT - 3
Today’s reading: Acts 19:1-8
The Holy Spirit is the agent of evangelization. It is crucial
that we know who the Holy Spirit is, what spiritual gifts
He imparts, and how His methodology is. But many Catholics
today do not really know the Holy Spirit. Just like some disciples
during Paul’s time, they might say, “We have never
even heard that there is a holy Spirit.” (v.2b).
is important to know that faith in Jesus does not automatically
mean one is filled with his Spirit. Paul asked the disciples,
“Did you receive the holy Spirit when you became believers?”
(v.2a). One might believe in Jesus and follow him, but not
have the Holy Spirit.
us Catholics, we become Christians, that is, followers of
Jesus, and receive the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Baptism,
then later reinforced in the sacrament of Confirmation. Baptism
is intended to wash away original sin. “John baptized
with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe
in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.”
(v.4). The sacrament of Baptism also imparts the Holy Spirit.
“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name
of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid his hands on them, the
holy Spirit came upon them” (v.5-6a).
during the times of the early Church, there was the baptism
of repentance of John and there was the baptism in the name
of Jesus. It was the latter that conferred the Holy Spirit.
Today, many Catholics who have been baptized and confirmed
do not live out repentance for sin and do not manifest empowerment
by the Holy Spirit. Thus there is a need, as adults, to repent
and be filled with the Spirit. This happens through a process
by which Catholics meet Christ anew and are led to believe
in him, repent, and are prayed with for a renewed infilling
of the Spirit.
the infilling of the Spirit come spiritual gifts. “And
when Paul laid his hands on them, the holy Spirit came upon
them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” (v.6).
The spiritual gifts are necessary to equip disciples for the
work of worldwide evangelization. The Holy Spirit gives boldness
and effectiveness to the proclamation of the gospel. “He
entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly
with persuasive arguments about the kingdom of God.”
is the work of the New Evangelization.
* * *