With the Holy Spirit comes new experiences in spiritual gifts and the process of being refined in God’s cleansing fire (Matt. 3:11-12). Jesus stood up and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit has not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. – John 7:37-39
As we enter into July, and move out of the Season of Pentecost into Ordinary time in the life of the Church, we are reminded that the Holy Spirit will remain with us, to empower and direct our efforts in witness while on our journeys. The spirit is not leaving us but will be continuing with us on our paths. For, when the Spirit fell upon her she immediately began that mission and three thousand souls were added to her number on that day alone (Acts 2:41).
Jesus had spent forty days with his disciples, teaching them what was said about him in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets and the Psalms, (Luke 24:36-49). He was sometimes physically present in resurrected form, while at other times he was clearly present, yet not visible. And in the times he was not visible, he was as present as when he was visible. So, Jesus was in the process of weaning his disciples of their dependency on seeing him in the flesh and was assuring them that he will always be with them.
As we move into Ordinary time, we would be wise to remind ourselves that for all our convictions and our gifts and skills faithfully employed in Christ’s service, just like those early disciples, it is the power of the Holy Spirit that we need to carry us on in life. Jesus said…just ask “If you, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” – Luke 11:13.
But we have a responsibility to remember and to live like people who are loved; like people with whom Jesus remains alongside; and like people who have the privilege of being sent the Holy Spirit to remain with us.
Friends, let us remember that the Spirit is the very presence of God in our midst. Take comfort in knowing that we have received an overflowing, never ending gift from God, and take it as an opportunity to always strive to be and do better.