At Easter Mass, our priest, Father Joe, discussed the increasing statistic of those who do not attend church and correlated it with the increasing darkness in the world today. He then talked about the darkness of the tomb and how the Holy Spirit ignited the spark in the tomb on Easter Morning.
Fr. Joe reminded us that the same Holy Spirit that rose Jesus from the dead (and changes bread into the Body of Christ) lives in us through the sacraments of our Baptism and Confirmation! Consider the power of the Holy Spirit that enabled the Apostles to preach, perform miracles and even (with the exception of John) to give their lives as martyrs. We possess that same Spirit!
If we have this Spirit within us, then we too should be unafraid to proclaim the Gospel in words and actions. Sometimes, this means just listening to the cues around us and speaking the truth.
I recently had the opportunity to share with two people the beauty, healing, and grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. One had never been to Confession, the other had not been in many years. It wasn’t that they didn’t know about the sacrament, but rather that they had never been fully catechized on its meaning, the importance of it, or the grace associated with it.
In both cases, the Lord presented an opportunity for me to open a conversation and instruct these individuals on this sacrament. Imagine my joy, when both chose to receive God’s grace, after those conversations, by going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation that very day! What if I had been afraid? What if I believed it wasn’t any of my business?
Responding to the prompting of the Holy Spirit can lead others to a deeper relationship with Christ. We cannot let fear stop us from spreading the message of God’s love and forgiveness to others. That could mean inviting someone to Mass, teaching them about the sacraments, bringing them to an RCIA program, or taking them to another event at your church.
We are the hands and feet of God on earth. It is up to us to call on the Holy Spirit and reach out to others. Father Joe concluded his homily by saying, “You have a choice to make: Leave Mass today with the Holy Spirit in you or go out and carry that same Spirit out into the world to ignite it!”
Let us combat the darkness!
Copyright 2019 Mary Lou Rosien