Saturday May 18, 2024

gifted by the Holy Spirit

Good News Reflections:
Making scripture meaningful to your daily life
by Terry Modica

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“It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.” (John 21:24)

Good News Reflection for:

Saturday of the 7th Week of Easter
May 18, 2024

Today’s Readings:

Acts 28:16-20, 30-31
Psalm 11:4-5, 7
John 21:20-25
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

Surrender and Serve in the Power of the Holy Spirit

By Beth Solis, GNM board member

Jesus promised his early apostles and disciples that he would stay with them always through the power of the Holy Spirit, to give them strength and guidance for fulfilling the Great Commission that he entrusted to them — to go make new disciples — and he did!

As modern disciples of Christ, we can still count on this same promise! Life in our world today is undoubtedly a challenge for many people for lots of different reasons. Jesus is calling each one of us now to help build up our Church.

The fire of the New Pentecost burns brightly, and baptized Christians are called to take up the torch, using the gifts they have been given, to light the way to heaven for others! As that old Bob Dylan song goes, “The times they are a changin’.” The fire of the New Pentecost is burning red hot right now, highlighting those in our communities who are lost, hurting, and confused by today’s Godless society, which has turned away from the Christian values and morals that once had been accepted as normal but are now being tossed aside and downplayed as if they never really mattered.

The Holy Spirit gives us special gifts to help those who are lost and hurting in today’s challenging world. These gifts of the Holy Spirit make it possible for us to live and act as the Holy Spirit leads us. As we pray and surrender our hearts to the Holy Spirit and ask for openness to God’s Holy Will, we can offer ourselves for his service and watch for doors to start opening and even more gifts to unfold. Remember, God has chosen each of us for a purpose.

Each baptized Christian who is maintaining an intentional discipleship relationship with Christ will receive from God his/her own unique charisms, which are supernaturally empowered graces to be used for the benefit of helping others. A discernment process with a spiritual director can help identify these charisms. These charisms, given from God as whole-life gifts, might be the charisms of healing, encouragement, teaching, giving, helps, hospitality, evangelization, administration, celibacy, craftmanship, faith, intercessory prayer, discernment of spirits, prophecy, music, knowledge, writing, wisdom, pastoring, service, leadership, and more.

God draws us into the work he wants us to do for him as he reveals how he is equipping us with these skills to reach others for his kingdom.

There are some important things to remember when it comes to serving Christ our Lord. God chooses us first and none of us are lacking in valuable gifts that can make a difference in ministry in his kingdom, no matter how small or unimportant we think our abilities are. God loves all of us and eagerly waits for us to accept his invitation to cooperate with him on his mission to share his love with others.

We might feel drawn to helping in certain ways perhaps, or maybe someone will invite us to volunteer to do something. That could be the Holy Spirit prompting us to get started! We might not feel like an expert, or maybe we might even feel like we’re out of our comfort zone, but if we keep having the nagging feeling we should help in that area, we ought to listen.

God will always open the doors and equip those he calls. God loves to surprise us!  There are so many great options to consider for serving the Lord. Here are just a few possibilities, but there are so many more! The Holy Spirit might lead us to use our gifts to help with Mobile Meals, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Knights of Columbus, the parish mowing team, religious education, RCIA, the parish school, the church choir, a homeless ministry, an evangelization team, a pro-life group, a women’s pregnancy resource center, Catholic Charities, a prison ministry, a grief ministry, or to lead a children’s Adoration Hour, just to name a few of the many possibilities to serve. One might even have a vocation to the religious life, the priesthood, or the permanent deaconate.

The list goes on. There is no end to what the Holy Spirit might have us do when we are open. All that is certain is that God will use us for sure in the most amazing ways, and the glory is all his!

We must never discount the call God may be making to us in more subtle areas of our lives, too. Sometimes this might turn out to make the biggest difference for someone’s soul — and it can help our own soul while we’re at it. The way we live our lives when we think nobody is watching is very crucial. I love the old hymn, “They’ll Know We Are Christian by Our Love,” by Fr. Peter Scholtes. If our families, our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers, and those we run into on a day-to-day basis notice our sincere acts of kindness, mercy, and generosity, and we can manage to slip in words to witness our love of Christ now and then by sharing our personal testimonies of faith in Jesus and how he has made a difference in our own lives, then they might come to respect this and perhaps be drawn to Jesus too.

Finally, we pray for surrender and openness each day for God to use our gifts and graces in the way he sees best to help others. May we continue to trust the Holy Spirit to guide us and always have our best interest at heart.

Come, Holy Spirit, living in Mary! Fill us with surrender and help us to serve Jesus and his Church. Fill our hearts with the fire of your love! Amen!

© 2024 by Beth Solis

For more on this, watch this short video on how to hear the Holy Spirit: What if it’s just my imagination?

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