Saturday the 7th Week of Easter
“For two whole years, Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!” Here ends the Book of Acts. We know that the apostolic mission did not end. It’s puzzling that the story just stops without even “Bye now, and God love you.” – for those who remember Bishop Sheen. This abrupt ending affords a creative thinker a heyday for interpretation. The book ends, but the story goes on. Today we join with the church in heartfelt prayer as we await a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, hoping that our short hour on the stage will contribute to the upbuilding of the kingdom.
The story recounted in the Book of Acts is not about Peter, John, or Paul. It is a story about the Holy Spirit illuminating the minds of believers to bear witness to the Light of the World. The Psalmist wrote: “With You is the fountain of life, and in your light, we see light” (Ps. 36: 9). With all the disciples of the Lord, we pray that we may be one in the unifying love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ draws us into communion with him and enables us to pour ourselves out for others as he poured himself out for us. Recall the words of Jesus recorded in the gospel of John. “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a bubbling spring of water welling up to eternal life” (Jn. 4:14). Having drunk from the fountain of Living Water, we are transformed into fountains of refreshing water for a world that has become parched and lifeless.
To focus our meditation, ponder these words penned by Saint James. “Receive with meekness the word implanted in you, it has the power to save your souls” (Jam. 1:21). The Spirit plants the seed of the Word in our hearts besides the streams of water the Son has caused to flow within us. “It yields its fruit in due season. Its leaves never wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Ps. 1:3). This is because “the Word of God cannot be chained or imprisoned” (2 Tim. 2:9). Like the apostle Paul, we must keep our eyes fixed on the Lord and proclaim Christ’s victory over sin and death. We must allow the Holy Spirit to work in us and to use us as bearers of the Living Word. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “The word that goes forth from my mouth will not return to me empty. It will accomplish what I desire and will achieve the end for which I sent it” (Is. 55:11). As we prepare to receive a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, let us pray that by his coming the Holy Spirit will make us witnesses before the world to the loving-kindness of our God.
Come Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit
and they shall be created.
And You shall renew the face of the earth.