• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Wednesday, 26 June 2019 11:17

The gift of the Holy Spirit changes fear to freedom - reflection


Fr Michael Knight SVD 150By Fr Michael Knight SVD

After the resurrection of Jesus the disciples hid themselves behind locked doors for fear of the authorities. Now one can lock oneself in a room because one believes that the world is unfriendly and hostile, and so prevent the world from entering the room, but then one also can’t get out. Since the crucifixion the disciples had bunched together behind locked doors in fear and anxiety. It must have been like hell.

However there is a way out of this terrible fear. Into this room of trapped people comes Jesus with his gift of peace and he says, “Peace be with you”. By the way, this is what we do when we celebrate the Eucharist, isn’t it, we wish each other the gift of peace. Then Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit on his disheartened followers and the in-breathing of the Holy Spirit gives them new heart and new life.

Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, fear is changed into freedom. The Holy Spirit is the key that leads the disciples out of the locked room of fear and into the freedom of a new mission. The Holy Spirit opens the way into the streets, alleys and the market place where the disciples preach publicly about the Resurrection of Jesus and the Gospel message. Those who had known the disciples before could well ask, “What has got into them?”

Well, we can answer the Holy Spirit has got into them. The disciples are no longer living in secret, in fear of the authorities, but “going public”, calling attention to themselves big time.

Holy Spirit brings freedom from fear 450 PixabaySt Paul makes the point in his writings that the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Variety and of Service. We all receive the Holy Spirit during the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. The Holy Spirit gives different gifts to different people. I believe that we have all heard that phrase: ‘One Spirit but many gifts”. The Spirit creates and affirms variety amongst all. Also the gifts of the Spirit are given not for our own egos but for service for others.

St Paul also offers us the image of the human body with its many different parts, all of which perform an essential function for the good of the whole. In that sense we are also members of the Body of Christ, of which we are all a part and have something different to contribute.

We can ask ourselves these questions:

  • What gifts do I have from the Holy Spirit to offer my community? This can apply to my family, my religious community and/or my parish community.
  • How can I contribute, in my own particular way, to the life of my Parish church?
  • How can I accept and put my gift(s) into action?
  • How can I help others to affirm and value their own gifts so that they can also be put into service for the community?

Someone’s gift can be a listening ear and a kind heart. This sounds simple but often the most simple gifts are the most rare and the most valuable. Haven’t we all experienced a time when we had to unburden ourselves and someone was there for us. That was his or her gift for us.

The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Variety and of Service but also of Faithfulness.

This is a true story about an American football player with the name of Daryl Smith. You may have watched American football and know how rough it can be.

Well Daryl was right at the top of the sport but during one game he was viciously tackled by a player from the other side. This tackle left him paralysed from the waist down. To this day he only has the use of one hand and gets around in a wheel chair.

It was like the lights went out for Daryl, after that football game. He sank into darkness and feeling sorry for himself but fortunately he never gave up completely.

One time he was sitting with his Bible, praying to the Holy Spirit for inspiration and he opened his Bible to the Book of Isaiah. These were the words that leapt out at him from the Bible:

“The people who are living in darkness will see a great light ... On those who live in the darkness of suffering and death a light will shine..”

After that moment there was light again for Daryl.

Daryl is of course still using a wheelchair but he has a new way of looking at himself and his life.

Subsequently Daryl was interviewed by Time magazine

‘Before I had a very narrow view of life … All I wanted was to be the best athlete in the world and I overlooked a lot of other things like relationships and faith life but now I have re-discovered and come back to them”.

In another interview he was to say:

“... this has been a re-birth for me … I have regained more meaning and purpose in my life. My Christian faith and relationship with Jesus and his Spirit have sustained me through this very challenging time. I am now able to love other people, including Jesus, more deeply than before”.

For many people Daryl has become a “light shining in the darkness”.

For me personally this story of Daryl is a very inspiring one and from which I have also drawn strength and grace during difficult times.

Invitation for Reflection

Can we reflect on our own lives and how the Holy Spirit has sustained us through the ups and downs of our lives? This can be done on a daily or weekly basis.

I invite you to try to set aside a brief period at the end of the day or of the week to get in touch with the movement of the Spirit within your own personal life and relationships.

PHOTO: Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay