Conversion in Samaria. The first reading where Phillip goes into the town of Samaria to proclaim the Good News of the gospel shows the need for spiritual conversion of hearts and minds of the world today. For there are many people who live their lives being tormented by addictions and sin, but they do try and we need to pray for society that the people may experience the same joy- which is the Good News that Jesus saves and will continue saving so many lives. He even gives them the gift of courage and guidance which is through the Holy Spirit.
The gospel reading begins by saying, “Jesus said to his disciples:”If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him(John 14:15-21).”
Keeping the commandments of Jesus can be difficult, sometimes even challenging our own ideologies. But the Father’s will is always most important. He is love and joy. When we are lost and alone, prayer in such times of great need is answered by Jesus and He sends down the Holy Spirit to guide us in comfort and show us the light at the end of the tunnel.
The Holy Spirit is an important aspect of the Trinity and often goes unnoticed because we fail to see the works of the Spirit in our lives. This could be due to us wearing the narrow lens of secularism which puts us at risk of being blinded and ignorant of the guidance of the Spirit moving within our lives.
I used to feel that I could accomplish everything without the grace of God and I was so wrong. It left me without gratitude and acknowledgement of Jesus in my life which not only caused my faith to take a dive but I was so focused on me that I could not deal with failures. I took failures as a destruction of self and this affected my outlook towards life. It was only after allowing Jesus to re-enter my life through spiritual retreats that I found Him patiently waiting for me to come back to Him.
Another beautiful aspect of the Holy Spirit would be assurance. The Spirit not only did hover around the disciples’ heads like tongues of fire but He continues to be very much present in our hearts. He resides within us through our Baptism and Confirmation so that we are both renewed and confirmed in the abundant love that Jesus loves us no matter what we have done in the past or present. He assures us that yes, we are sinners, but we are called to repent and make amends by experiencing peace and love that the world cannot give us.
Jesus promises us that He will not leave us orphans and He will come to us. Are we able to recognize moments in our lives where Jesus approaches us? For me, He has always approached me in times when I felt like giving up on studies. I have always told Jesus that I am always trying as I may not be the brightest or the straight “A”s scorer, but I do try and He always tell me that my best is enough for Him and that grades are not a measurement of the love He has for His children. It is a statement of simple and humble love that is so hard to come by these days, yet Jesus keeps telling us that He will love us and reveal Himself to us.
This week I have been letting myself experience some downtime in reflecting about what is to come. Though there are still many uncertainties, bringing them to light in the presence of Jesus and the reassurance of hope and love by the Father is enough for me to start living each day in trust and patience that all will be revealed in His time.
Now, I just need to continue the process of spiritual rehabilitation by taking time to discover the presence of Jesus in our lives and just be there with Him. For where our hearts will be, Jesus will always be there with us, for there is hope of better tomorrows.
May we continue to keep each other in prayer as that is the first step to be in communion with Jesus and to have a conversation with Him. This will strengthen our faith and deepen our relationship with the Father who has come to save us. God Bless and Jesus loves you!
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong