THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
HAVE YOU RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT?
May 13, 2013
Today’s reading: Acts 19:1-8
All Catholics have been sacramentally baptized, by which they
receive the Holy Spirit. The problem with many Catholics today
is that they are unaware of the importance and action of the
Holy Spirit in their lives. For all practical purposes, Catholics
might as well say, “We have never even heard that there
is a holy Spirit.” (Acts 19:2b).
are many (even most) Catholics, who have been sacramentally
baptized and sacramentally confirmed, not acting as true Christians
in the world today? They do not really know Christ (have a
personal relationship with him), they certainly are not living
Christ (being holy), and they most certainly are not sharing
needs to happen? It all starts with repentance and faith.
“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.” (Acts 19:4). People need to turn
away from their old lives, and start to live a new life in
Baptism (and later Confirmation), people receive the Holy
Spirit. This is empowerment for worldwide mission. But why
are the great majority of Catholics not really into evangelization?
It is because they do not know the Holy Spirit, and they do
not know what they have been called to do in the power of
the Holy Spirit.
the call to the New Evangelization necessitates a renewed
understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit, followed by
prayers for a renewed infilling of the Spirit, to manifest
a renewed outpouring of the Spirit. Catholics once again need
to experience the so-called baptism in the Spirit. As in the
case of the Ephesian believers, “when Paul laid his
hands on them, the holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke
in tongues and prophesied.” (Acts 19:6). This was a
common experience of the early Christians, starting with the
descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. How many
Catholics today speak in tongues and prophesy? Do the majority
of Catholics even know about the gifts of tongues and prophecy?
the baptism in the Spirit comes boldness and power. Paul “debated
boldly with persuasive arguments about the kingdom of God.”
(Acts 19:8b). Catholics need to do so as well. Catholics need
to go forth into the world and proclaim the good news of salvation
in Jesus. Every Catholic is commissioned to be an evangelizer.
And so I ask you, “Did you receive the holy Spirit when
you became believers?” (Acts 19:2). Indeed you did.
Now act on that reality.
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