Do you experience Christ’s presence acting in you through the power of the Holy Spirit? While we receive the Holy Spirit in baptism, many of us do not experience the reality of Christ present and alive in us as he promised. Why is this?
I lived my life for many years in a way that buried Christ’s presence in me rather than allow that presence to be manifested. I believed in God, attended Mass regularly and participated in the sacraments. Yet my Christian faith had become secondary to other so-called priorities, namely my career. I didn’t recognize God’s presence in my life, and no one else did either.
Because I had compartmentalized my life, the blessings of Christ’s truth, compassion and healing power were not available to the area of my life that needed them most – my work life. I put Jesus in a box and separated my professional life from the reality of Christ’s presence in me.
That all changed one evening when I met Jesus in a new and personal way in a parish Life in the Spirit program, and some people prayed with me for the release of the power of the Holy Spirit. Before that evening, the words of Jesus in John 14:23 that he and the Father wanted to dwell in me were just words. After that evening, they became real. I began to experience the presence of God and the fullness of the Holy Spirit in a new and deeper way. I stopped burying the Christ that was in me!
This past weekend we celebrated Pentecost Sunday commemorating the outpouring of the Holy Spirit by God on the apostles and earlier followers of Christ after his ascension. Jesus had instructed the disciples, “wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit…You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:4-5, 8)
The same Holy Spirit that Jesus said would empower the disciples to be his witnesses throughout the earth is waiting to be released in you and me to renew our faith, to draw us into a closer relationship with the Father, and to build God’s kingdom in the circumstances of our lives.
Anyone can experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit just by asking for it. (Luke11:11-13) It is Jesus’ legacy to us – his means to give us his ears, his eyes, his mind and his heart. (John 14:16, 26)
I would love to hear from you about how you have experienced the Holy Spirit and God’s presence in your life.