Last week Wednesday and last Sunday, I gave a talk in RCIA on the Trinity. When we came to the Holy Spirit, I asked: If God did not give us a spirit of fear, instead one of power, of love and self-control, why do we have defeated Christians? Why do we have weak Christians? When we look around, we see Christians we would not stand for their faith, who sway with the wind. Christians who, as Pope Francis describes, look like they came from a funeral instead of one filled with joy?
The reason is because we do not ask for the Holy Spirit. St Paul asks the Galatians, Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Jesus in today’s Gospel said if you then, 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!
The Holy Spirit is a gift from God and we do not work or do anything to receive him. We ask and we will receive him! But we need to be prepared to receive him because when he comes, he will change our lives. He will give us power to do the works God wants us to do. He will give us love so we can give sacrificially. He will give us self-control to give up what hinders us from knowing the Father. The Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets and makes what the prophets said happen. He is the Power of God, the Lord and Giver of Life, whom Jesus gave the Apostles so they could have power to forgive sins, with the forgiveness of sins, to bring new life to those who repent. Because God wants people to live the life he has planned for them, he sends the Holy Spirit to people who are willing to receive him, so they can proclaim this good news.
St Denis and his companions gave up their lives in the 3rd century during the persecution of Christians. Denis is the first bishop of Paris and was killed with his companions as they proclaimed the Gospel in that city. They did not think of their lives, but gave up their lives for the sake of the Gospel.
This is what is expected of us, when we have the Spirit. We will have courage to proclaim the Gospel of Christ so people will get to know him. There will be difficulties, persecution and in the case of Denis and his companions, death. But it is the Spirit who gives us self-control, to push on despite the suffering, because we have faith in the Lord and we hope in doing so, we will see him face to face.
Holy Spirit, enter my life. Change it. Transform it, so it will be pleasing to the Father. St Denis and companions, pray that I may have courage to speak God’s Word in truth, even in the face of persecution.