Pentecost Sunday: The Spiritual Disturber

 

Courage.Faith.Providence.

These three words have been in my mind this week and just as I prepared to unwind . . . God had other plans installed for me which I accepted because I trust in his providence. His Word gives me faith and that translates into courage. I must say I could not have done this without the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.

Being disturbed by the Holy Spirit is a great blessing as it allows a person to be an instrument of the Word, administering it to other people around us, whether believers or non-believers. The gospel reading pointed out that the disciples were fearful of the Jews, afraid that they would suffer the same fate as Jesus. Therefore, they choose to barricade themselves in a room.

“But Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them,”Peace be with you.”When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you”(John 20:19-23). 

When you feel Jesus close by, do you feel a sense of peace? Peace is present in prayers and quiet time alone in reflection or in the adoration room. Jesus speaks to us in this quiet time and time literally stands still. The noise of the world fades away and we can tune in to the voice of Jesus in the depths of our hearts. The words of Jesus can be anything such as a word, a phrase, a bible passage or an image.

For me, it is more of a conversation with him and at other times, a word. This helps me to have a part of Jesus to reflect during the week. I am reminded of the mercy and to submit to the will of God as I am not in control but God is. Jesus promises us more than just peace but the mission of discipleship in sowing the seeds to gather a good harvest.

Jesus gives us the answer and assurance in the gospel reading by saying,

“Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained”(John 20:19-23). 

It is a timely reminder to repent and forgive during the year of mercy. This is an informative book called the “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas Kempis which is a must read as it touches on the withdrawal from the world which gives us peace and devotion to Jesus.

Attending the Mario Joseph preaching was interesting as I was not really comfortable with the charismatic element but his words shed light on the struggles of Catholics. Going for two nights made me realise that prayer and the bible make a combination that is life-giving and essential for spiritual formation.

I use to have zero prayer life as I took things for granted and it was after becoming more mature, and reviewing my life,  I decided to let Jesus in. The realization hit me that the key is prayer. Mario Joseph spoke about one can get out from reading the Word of God? It takes only 10 minutes with reading the bible and 5 minutes for prayer which equates to 15 minutes in the morning. He lists five ways and they are:

  1. Is God revealing any of my sins in today’s reading?
  2. Is God asking me to do something good today?
  3. Is there any promise God is giving me?
  4. Is God giving any warning in today’s reading?
  5. Is God revealing any of his miracles today?

The bible is akin to a medical shop and the chapters are medication for any problem, and this is such an interesting analogy, is it not? The quote which I took away from the two nights is,

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by being cursed for our sake”, since scripture says: Cursed be everyone who is hanged on a tree. This was done so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might include the pagans,and so that through faith we might receive the promised Spirit (Galatians 3:13-14). 

Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of our sins and wrong-doings. Repentance is the key to forgiveness and redemption. The reward is eternal salvation and to not suffer the same fate as Judas who hanged himself on a tree out of guilt in betraying Jesus. Everyone can be saved through Jesus if they are convicted in changing for the better.

The spirit moves us to share with people as Jesus loves everyone and nobody would be rejected. The spirit disturbs us to give readily and without reservations. Hearts can be changed and minds set free.

Dear Jesus, allow me to be of service to your will and to help people achieve closeness in you and may whoever turns to you be saved. Guide me to make wise choices and to bring you to people. Amen.

I would like to end this post with a praise and worship song,”Alive Again“by Matt Maher which struck me as I need Jesus more than ever to get me through the day, the month, the year and for times to come.

“I woke up in darkness surrounded by silence
Oh where, where have I gone?
I woke to reality losing its grip on me
Oh where, where have I gone?

‘Cause I can see the light before I see the sunrise

You called and You shouted
Broke through my deafness
Now I’m breathing in and breathing out
I’m alive again

You shattered my darkness
Washed away my blindness
Now I’m breathing in and breathing out
I’m alive again

Late have I loved You
You waited for me
I searched for You
What took me so long?

I was looking outside
As if love would ever want to hide
I’m finding I was wrong

‘Cause I could feel the wind before it hits my skin

You called and You shouted
Broke through my deafness
Now I’m breathing in and breathing out
I’m alive again

You shattered my darkness
Washed away my blindness
Now I’m breathing in and breathing out
I’m alive again, I’m alive again

‘Cause I want You, yes, I want You, I need You
And I’ll do whatever I have to just to get through
‘Cause I love You, yeah, I love You

You called and You shouted
Broke through my deafness
Now I’m breathing in and breathing out
I’m alive again

You shattered my darkness
Washed away my blindness
Now I’m breathing in and breathing out
I’m alive again”

God Bless and may we be alive with the spirit to bring Jesus to the world that needs him more than ever!

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong

 

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